Felicity Huffman, one of 50 people arrested in connection with a college admissions scheme, has pleaded guilty. She is one of 14 people to cut plea deals, as her May 24th sentencing approaches.
When announcing that she would plead guilty to the charges against her, she expressed deep remorse for her actions. Huffman told the court, “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions.”
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues, and the educational community.”
Huffman is facing between four and ten years in prison under her plea deal, but prosecutors have recommended the lesser of that scale to a judge.
Lawyers that are experienced in such cases (but are not involved in this case) are saying that there is a strong possibility that Huffman may not receive any actual prison time, but could instead be confined to her home and forced to wear an ankle monitor.
Louis Shapiro, a federal defense attorney in Los Angeles, stated, “She was the first out of the gate to take responsibility and will be handsomely rewarded for it, especially if the other defendants drag their feet, which we’re beginning to see.”
Those other defendants, like Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are possibly among those being referenced by Shapiro, as they have decided to plead not guilty and are facing up to 40 years in prison.
Dnitry Gorin, a former prosecutor in Los Angeles, agreed that Huffman’s plea deal sets up her defense team to argue for no prison time. “A person with no criminal history, with no serious criminal intent and a strong law-abiding background, should not be sent to prison. I suspect her lawyers will do everything they can to highlight these points and keep her out of prison.”
However, there is concern that a judge will feel the need to impose a stricter sentence, in order to avoid the appearance that Huffman was given preferential treatment because of her celebrity status.
Felicity Huffman also went on record saying, “I want to apologize to [my family and friends], and especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.”
“My daughter knew nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
The others who have agreed to plead guilty in the admissions scheme are Gregory Abbott, Marcia Abbott, Devin Sloan, Bruce Isackson, Davina Isackson, Jane Buckingham, Gordon Caplan, Robert Flaxman, Marjorie Klapper, Agustin Huneeus, Peter Jan Sartorio, and Stephen Semprevivo. Coach Michael Center, of Austin, TX, the head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Texas at Austin, has also agreed to plead guilty in the scheme.
Admissions scandal mastermind, Rick Singer, who collected more than $25 million in bribes from parents to help get their children into colleges, is facing 60 years behind bars.