After a federal court judge Friday sentenced TV star Felicity Huffman to 14 days in federal prison for her role in the nationwide college admissions scandal, legal experts said other accused parents should worry that they, too, may be ordered to surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility at some point in the near future.
That includes wealthy Bay Area parents who have pleaded guilty to charges related to the scandal and who have upcoming sentencing dates, as well as other parents — including former “Full House” star Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and some Bay Area parents — who have rejected plea deals.
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli leave the Boston federal courthouse after a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 27. JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Indeed, legal experts have said that the fact that U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani decided that even a mere two weeks in prison was an appropriate sentence for Huffman should be especially worrisome to Loughlin and other parents who have vowed to fight the charges at trial.
“This is bad news for Aunt Becky,” said prison consultant Larry Levine, referring to the wholesome character Loughlin played on “Full House.” Levine, the founder of Wall Street Prison Consultants, is a former federal prison inmate who now offers his services to help white-collar defendants navigate the criminal justice system and prepare for life behind bars.
Talwani ordered Huffman to surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on Oct. 25. Huffman’s attorneys have requested that she serve her sentence at the federal prison in Dublin, a low-security facility. But the bureau makes that determination based on a number of factors, including available bed space in its different facilities, Levine said.
Levine added that the 14-day sentence was “nothing” compared to typical federal sentences, and likely “no deterrent” for other potential offenders.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani said that in Huffman’s case, her celebrity likely hurt her, as did the fact that “Operation Varsity Blues,” the investigation into the scandal, has drawn widespread national interest — and outrage.
According to prosecutors, the investigation exposed how parents at the apex of wealth and privilege tried to gain further advantage by gaming the admissions process at elite universities, bribing and cheating to get their children accepted at their desired schools.
“It appears that the purpose was to send a message that the court is not going to be soft on some celebrity because …
Source:: East Bay – Entertainment