School admissions scandals remain widespread, although many individuals are unaware parents are competing to get their child in a particular school. However, the law looks unfavorably on those who try to bypass the system and use alternate methods to enroll their child in a particular institution. Felicity Huffman today learned how true that is, and she isn’t alone. —
Felicity Huffman just learned she will be held accountable for her actions in the college admissions scandal that rocked the nation recently. Not only will Ms. Huffman be required to pay a $30,000 fine and spend one year on probation, but she was also ordered to spend 14 days in federal prison and take part in 250 hours of community service.
The charges stem from the "Varsity Blues" college admissions scam and Ms. Huffman is required to report to a Bureau of Prisons facility next month. She is the first person accused in this scam to be sentenced, and other parents involved may now be wondering if they will be given similar punishments. Ms. Huffman already paid $15,000 to a college recruiter to have her daughter's Preliminary SAT score increased by 400 points.
Other parents spent a great deal more to help their children get into certain schools. For example, Lori Loughlin allegedly gave Rick Singer $500,000 to put her two daughters on the recruiting list for the University of Southern California crew team.
The “Varsity Blues” scandal is the largest college admissions scam ever investigated in this country. Some parents requested their child's test score be raised in exchange for a monetary payment. Others paid to have their child put on a recruiting list to guarantee admission to the school of choice, even if the child had dismal test scores and no athletic prowess. The colleges were not charged as part of this criminal investigation and no students have been named in the lawsuits either.
The problem isn’t limited to higher education. Kelley Williams-Bolar, an Akron, Ohio African-American woman, put a false address down to ensure her daughters could attend a better school than the one in her neighborhood. She was sentenced to ten days in jail for this crime.
Ms. Williams-Bolar isn’t alone. Forbes Magazine reported in 2016 that parents across the country now lie to enroll their children in a better school district. Tonya McDowell was charged in Connecticut with felony larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny when she lied about where she lived to put her child in another school district.
Parents are also being convicted of crimes when they choose not to remove their child from a school following a move. Hamlet and Olesia Garcia moved their family during the school year but chose to keep their five-year-old in the same school for the two months remaining in the term.
Originally charged with criminal theft of service charges, Olesia had her charges dropped. Hamlet’s were reduced to a summary offense of knowingly and illegally enrolling a child in a school outside of the district. The couple, along with Olesia’s father, was ordered to pay $10,752,81 to the school district for the two months the child remained enrolled after they moved.
Hope Lefeber has experience with federal crimes and can be of help to anyone charged in this manner. Don't hesitate to call on her for assistance in a time of need. Contact her office today to discuss your case.
Release ID: 88920494