To what extent will parents go to send their children off to the best school?
A university and college admission scandal received Hollywood treatment when celebrities got involved.
Celebrity Parents' Cheating Scandal
"Desperate Housewives" actress, Emmy award winner and Oscar nominee Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty of paying $15,000 to a test proctor to doctor the SAT scores of her daughter Sophia Grace Macy, whom she claims to have a learning disability.
On the other hand, "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin and husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded not guilty to a $500,000 alleged bribery case to get their non-athlete daughters -- YouTuber Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Guiannulli -- into the rowing team of a university to get accepted.
Celebrities Support Huffman Amid Scandal
On March 12, Felicity Huffman was arrested in her California home and was later released on a $250,000 bail.
In a plea letter to the judge handling her case, Huffman's husband, actor William H. Macy, revealed how Huffman's arrest caused trauma to their daughter.
Felicity Huffman was later sentenced to 14 days of jail time, 250 hours of community service and a $30,000 fine.
This was after 27 of Huffman's family, friends and colleagues sent the court letters of support, attesting to Huffman's good character. Among those who supported Huffman were "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry and her co-star Eva Longoria, who said the college admission scandal humbled the "American Crime" actress.
Patricia Arquette and Angela Basset, Huffman's Her co-stars in the upcoming film on Netflix, "Otherhood", also gave their support to the actress. They said they felt Huffman was genuinely sorry and commended her for being mature and responsible.
However, another "Desperate Housewives" actor, Ricardo Chavira called Huffman's light sentence as "white privilege."
Loughlin Plays Her Cards Differently
Meanwhile, Loughlin and Giannulli are in it for a longer trial after rejecting the plea deal. She was previously held in FBI custody on March 13 and was released on a $1 million bail.
Law professionals are split over their predictions of Loughlin's trial, with some noting harsher sentences for defendants who choose to go into trial.
Others think Loughlin could walk away free. However, prosecutors are keen on Loughlin getting a harsher sentence than Huffman.
It should be noted that Loughlin and Giannuli claim they donated the half-million dollars to the school -- a common practice that could get the children of high-profile student applicants into the colleges of their choice.
Other Parents Get Twice Huffman's Sentence
Like Huffman, New York attorney Gordon Caplan also paid to have her daughter's ACT scores altered, giving the sum of $75,000.
Caplan was sentenced to 30 days behind bars.
Previously, Devin Sloane -- a CEO of a water treatment company in L.A. -- was sentenced to four months in prison, 500 hours of community service, and a $95,000 fine.
The business executive pleaded guilty of paying $250,000 to bribe his son's way into the water polo team to get accepted at the University of Southern California. It's the same school Louhglan is on trial for giving money to get her daughters accepted through the rowing team.
The Singer that Ties Them All
The scandal was brought to light in April 2018. The FBI got a tip back then about a soccer coach receiving payment to place an applicant in the team's recruitment so the student gets accepted.
The scheme linked to Rick Singer -- founder of The Key or more formally College and Career Network Inc. -- where they bribe coaches, test proctors, and school administrators.
The mastermind behind the scheme reportedly used his non-profit "The Key Worldwide Foundation" to carry out his scheme.
Rick Singer was arrested just hours after Huffman's arrest. He later pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, money laundering, obstruction, and racketeering.
Huffman is Moving On From the Scandal
Lori Loughlin is reportedly dealing with anxiety while her trial is ongoing. Her next trial is in January 2020.
U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani gives the reasons for Huffman's lighter sentence: "She quickly showed remorse, paid the smallest bribe, and didn't get her daughter involved."
The "Otherhood" actress has reportedly been visiting a family therapist following her sentence.
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