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Celebs charged with fraud in buying their children’s admission to top colleges


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On 9/13/2019 at 2:48 PM, nuckin_futz said:

Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in prison in college cheating scandal

The actress pleaded guilty in May to paying $15,000 to have her daughter's SAT scores boosted.


BOSTON — Actress Felicity Huffman, one of the biggest name caught up in a college-admissions scandal that rocked elite universities around the country, was sentenced to 14 days behind bars on Friday for her role in the sweeping scam.


"I am deeply sorry to the students, schools, and universities, that are impacted by my actions," Huffman said while chocking up as she read a prepared statement.


The one-time Oscar nominee, who came to court holding hands with her actor husband, William H. Macy, will also have to pay a fine of $30,000 and perform 250 hours of community service under the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani.


Huffman, 56, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and honest services fraud in May for paying $15,000 to college fixer Rick Singer to cheat on daughter Sophia Grace Macy's SAT in 2017.


"I am so sorry Sophia," she said. "I was frightened. I was stupid and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done."


Huffman paid for someone to proctor and correct Sophia’s test and correct it, which resulted in her score jumping 400 points above her PSAT performance to 1420 out of a possible 1600.


She was the first parent to be sentenced in the scheme.


Prosecutors had wanted Huffman to spend a month in prison, to go along with supervised release and a $20,000 fine.

"Most parents have the moral compass not to lie but the defendant did not," prosecutor Eric Rosen said to Talwani at Friday's sentencing. "This was not a blunder or a mistake. This was intentional criminal conduct that took place over 16 months."


"In prison, there is no paparazzi. Everyone is the same, everyone wears the same clothes," Rosen said while praising her skills as an actress and ability to find future work. "Prison is the ultimate leveler."


Defense lawyers insisted their client's crimes did not merit incarceration, and their argument appeared to get a boost this week when a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services report found that there was "no victim" or any "actual or intended loss" in Huffman's SAT scam.


"She knew what she did was wrong and her moral compass allowed her to realize that," Huffman's lawyer, Martin Murphy, told the judge on Friday. He noted that Huffman's daughter is not going to any school next year.


Probation officials said the government was incorrect in setting Huffman’s sentencing range at four to nine months because the amount of money she paid should not be a factor in her sentencing. Huffman should instead be subject to the lowest sentencing guidelines of zero prison time to six months, according to the probation report.


The mere fact that prosecutors asked for such little prison time showed that Huffman appeared to be in good position to avoid time behind bars, NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos said.


Huffman's sentence to prison time was also surprising, in comparison to Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer, who in the same court got only probation when he faced a sentencing-guidelines range of 33 to 41 months behind bars.

"Federal courts are under obligation to avoid `unwarranted sentencing disparities,'" Cevallos said. "A sentence of incarceration for Felicity Huffman sure seems like an unwarranted sentencing disparity."


Huffman, best known for the TV series "Desperate Housewives" and her Oscar-nominated work in "Transamerica," is the most famous of of 50 people charged in the sweeping college entrance cheating scheme.


The FBI probe, dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues" revealed how well-heeled parents paid Singer to get their children into elite universities by boosting their college board test scores or passing them off as top athletes worthy of special admission.


Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have also been charged.

Prominent U.S. universities involved in Singer's scheme included Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and the University of Southern California.


In a letter to the judge last week, Huffman admitted to making bad choices because she was worried that her daughter's learning disabilities would hamper the young lady's future.


Huffman's husband, Macy, was not charged in "Operation Varsity Blues."






2 weeks in the big house. Her financial involvement was $15,000 and she co-operated after getting busted. I wonder what 'Aunt Becky' will get? She was in for $500,000 and has fought this all the way.

She might get much longer stay at some club fed.

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  • 2 weeks later...



BOSTON – Devin Sloane, a Los Angles business executive, was sentenced Tuesday to four months in prison for paying US$250,000 to get his son accepted into the University of Southern California as a fake water polo recruit. 

He is the second parent to be sentenced in Boston federal court in the nation's college admissions scandal after actress Felicity Huffman received 14 days in prison this month.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani also sentenced Sloane to 500 hours of community service over two years and a $95,000 fine. 

"Just because you’re a good person doesn’t mean you don’t commit a crime when you do those things," Talwani said. “I come back to the action you took in bribing a college official. Bribing a college official is a serious crime. You are not a repeat player, but what you did involved your child."

Sloane, 53, is the founder and CEO of waterTALENT, a water treatment company. The judge ordered him to report to prison Dec. 3. "



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Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli to plead guilty in college admissions scandal

May 21, 2020, 6:26 AM PDT

In a major turn of events, actress Lori Loughlin has flipped to a guilty plea in the college admissions scandal.


The U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Massachusetts made the surprise announcement on Thursday. In a press release, they said the Fuller House star and her clothing designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will both plead guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with securing the fraudulent admission of their two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, to the University of Southern California as purported athletic recruits. The agreements were signed on Wednesday.


Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest-services wire and mail fraud.


Under the terms of Loughlin’s plea agreement, she will receive a sentence of two months in prison, a $150,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service.


Her signed agreement states, “Defendant expressly and unequivocally admits that she committed that crime, did so knowingly and intentionally, and is in fact guilty of that offense. The U.S. Attorney agrees to dismiss Counts Two and Three of the Fourth Superseding Indictment following the imposition of sentence at the sentencing hearing.”

The U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts has updated its website to reflect the plea agreement. (Screenshot: justice.gov/usao-ma)The U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts has updated its website to reflect the plea agreement. (Screenshot: justice.gov/usao-ma)
Giannulli’s agreement states he will serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine and have two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service. 

Both agreements are subject to the court’s approval.


The couple will plead guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton on Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET via videoconference. Per Loughlin’s agreement, her two-month incarceration will begin “no earlier than 90 days after imposition of final judgment.”


Loughlin and Giannulli signed their agreements on Wednesday. (See hers and his.)

Lori Loughlin's signature on the plea agreement. (Screenshot: justice.gov/usao-ma)Lori Loughlin's signature on the plea agreement. (Screenshot: justice.gov/usao-ma)


The couple’s attorney, Sean M. Berkowitz, declined to comment on the agreement to Yahoo Entertainment. Loughlin’s publicist said no statement is forthcoming.


Both Loughlin and Giannulli were arrested in March 2019 and charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest-services mail and wire fraud. Prosecutors alleged that they paid $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters, both social media influencers, into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, despite neither having played the sport.


After Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded not guilty, however, they were slapped with additional charges. First, it was conspiracy to commit money laundering in April 2019. Then in October, they were also charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery — for allegedly bribing employees of USC to facilitate their children’s admission.


All told, Loughlin and Giannulli faced up to 50 years in prison each but it wasn’t expected they would serve that long.

Loughlin and Giannulli were expected to go to trial in this case in October with jury selection starting in September. However, last month, as the case progressed, prosecutors released damning photos of Olivia Jade and Isabella on rowing machines. They claim the couple staged the photos of the girls, who didn’t row, as part of the elaborate scam.

Olivia Jade Giannulli posing on a rowing machine in 2017. (Image: The United States Attorneys Office, District of Massachusetts)Olivia Jade Giannulli posing on a rowing machine in 2017. (Image: The United States Attorneys Office, District of Massachusetts)


There were also email exchanges between Giannull, Loughlini and disgraced admissions expert William “Rick” Singer, who masterminded the scam and previously pleaded guilty. In one, Singer advised that he would “create a coxswain profile” for Isabella — who was not a coxswain and did not row crew — and asked for “a picture with her on an ERG in workout clothes” so she looked “like a real athlete.” Giannulli replied, “Fantastic” and later emailed Singer the picture of Bella posing on the ergometer.

Isabella Giannulli posing on a rowing machine in 2016. (Image: The United States Attorneys Office, District of Massachusetts)Isabella Giannulli posing on a rowing machine in 2016. (Image: The United States Attorneys Office, District of Massachusetts)


The couple later repeated the procedure for Olivia Jade.

The email thread about creating a fake rowing profile for Olivia Jade. (Screenshot: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)The email thread about creating a fake rowing profile for Olivia Jade. (Screenshot: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)


More than 50 people — parents, coaches, administrators and beyond — were charged in the scheme, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues by prosecutors, orchestrated by disgraced admissions consultant William Rick Singer. Loughlin’s peer, actress Felicity Huffman, was among the first to plead guilty and reported to prison on Oct. 15 to complete her sentence. Huffman, who paid $15,000 to fix her daughter’s SAT scores, served a sentence of just over a week.


The way Huffman and Loughlin handled this scandal, respectively, has been buzzed about since the start. While Huffman admitted her guilt and apologized more than once, Loughlin maintained her innocence. A source in her camp said she didn’t think she was doing anything wrong, allegedly arranging for fake photos to be taken of her daughter on crew equipment in addition to the monetary payments.


There was also the public presumption that Loughlin wasn’t taking the charges seriously. That was because of her demeanor in court — as well as outside court, where she warmly greeted fans.


It didn’t help that her daughter Olivia Jade posted a social media photo giving the middle finger to various media outlets.


Neither Olivia Jade, 20, nor Isabella, 21, are currently enrolled at USC.




Aunt Becky and her hubby are going to the slammer.


Lori Loughlin Fired From 'Fuller House' — Aunt Becky Leaving ...


Actually, come to think of it. This is probably a calculated move to avoid jail time due to the pandemic. They will probably get house arrest and never have to wear an orange jump suit.


Apologies for the formatting. Couldn't fix it.

Edited by nuckin_futz
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