‘It was horrifying’: Ex-inmates describe fate that may await Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin, other parents in college scandal

On the morning in 2015 that Holli Coulman surrendered at the Victorville minimum-security prison in the California high desert, she savored a final look around her home and made sure she enjoyed a good breakfast — because she was not sure when she would eat anything decent again.

After arriving, the former Hewlett-Packard executive assistant, who was convicted of fraud involving the use of a company credit card, kissed her husband goodbye outside the receiving room. She then crossed the threshold into life as a federal prisoner: She stood on a sheet of brown paper, handed over her clothing, bra and panties, and submitted to a search for contraband. Coulman, who now who advises female defendants for Wall Street Prison Consultants, said it would not be the worst indignity she would endure in her 15 months as an inmate in a federal prison.

Actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli exit a Boston courthouse after a pre-trial hearing Aug. 27. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images)

On Friday, actress Felicity Huffman will find out whether her fate also involves self-surrendering at a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility. Eleven other wealthy parents who have pleaded guilty in the nationwide college admissions scandal will also find out their fate in the next two months.

To Huffman and these parents, Coulman and other former inmates warn that there is no way to sugar coat what it’s like behind bars.

“It was horrifying,” lifestyle guru Martha Stewart said in a 2017 interview. “Nothing is good about it, nothing.”

For white-collar defendants like Huffman, Bay Area parents charged in the scandal and for former “Full House” star Lori Loughlin — who has pleaded not guilty and is fighting the charges — going to prison would mean leaving behind their families and spacious homes and entering a world in which they live in overcrowded, noisy dormitories, eat “atrocious” food, are regularly demeaned by guards and have no control over their time and personal space.

Given this reality, it’s not surprising that Huffman is fighting the one-month sentence recommended by prosecutors. Her attorneys, relying on an opinion by probation officials, say no one was monetarily harmed by her actions so she should receive probation, community service and a $20,000 fine at the most. But the U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked for some period of incarceration for parents who have taken plea deals, saying it’s necessary to show that even the rich and powerful are not

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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