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Felicity Huffman Begs Judge for No Jail Time

Prosecutors recommend a month in jail, $20K fine for actress in college admissions bribery scandal
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2019 8:40 AM CDT
This April 3, 2019, file photo shows actress Felicity Huffman departing federal court in Boston after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.   (AP Photos/Charles Krupa, File)

(Newser) – Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty in May to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in the college admissions bribery scandal, and now the government has handed down its recommendation for her fate. CBS News reports that federal prosecutors on Friday called for a month behind bars for the actress, as well as a $20,000 fine and one year of probation. Prosecutors had originally been mulling much more jail time (between four and 10 months, per TMZ), though federal probation officials have said sentencing guidelines call for between zero and six months, the New York Times reports. In a three-page letter, Huffman asked the judge in the Boston federal court Friday to spare her any jail time, saying she felt "deep and abiding shame" for her actions, which involved her paying $15,000 for a proctor to correct her daughter's SAT answers.

She noted her daughter has a learning disability that causes her to have a hard time with math, and that she was just trying to give the teen a "fair shot," per Fox News. "I see the irony in that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair. I have broken the law, deceived the educational community, betrayed my daughter, and failed my family," she wrote in her letter. Her lawyers feel a year of probation, 250 hours of community service, and the $20,000 fine is fair. US Attorney Andrew Lelling feels otherwise. "Her efforts weren't driven by need or desperation, but by a sense of entitlement, or at least moral cluelessness, facilitated by wealth and insularity," his office wrote in its filing. "Millions of parents send their kids to college every year. All of them care as much she does about their children's fortunes. But they don't buy fake SAT scores." Huffman will be sentenced this coming Friday. (Read more Felicity Huffman stories.)

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