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Prosecutors call for Felicity Huffman to spend a month in jail

Actress Felicity Huffman, right, enters the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse with her brother Moore Huffman Jr., left, in Boston on May 13, 2019. Huffman was among 50 people charged in March as part of Operation Varsity Blues, which found that wealthy parents had allegedly paid bribes to get their children falsely certified as athletic recruits at elite colleges and universities, or to facilitate cheating on their kids SAT and ACT scores. Assistant US Attorney Eric Rosen said, as part of a plea agreement, he will be seeking four months in prison and a $20,000 fine for Huffman.
Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman should serve a month in jail and pay a $20,000 fine for her role in the college admissions scandal, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Friday.

Huffman tearfully pleaded guilty earlier this year to committing mail fraud and honest services fraud in connection with a $15,000 payment to have a SAT examination proctor correct one of her daughter's answers on the test.

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The actress, who co-starred on the ABC drama "Desperate Housewives" and earned an Oscar nomination for "Transamerica," also inquired about the same scheme for another daughter, although she never carried out that plan.

In the filing, the prosecutors wrote to the judge in the case that Huffman's conduct was "deliberate and manifestly criminal."

They recommended that, after spending a month in jail, she should also have a year of supervised release.

"In the context of this case, neither probation nor home confinement (in a large home in the Hollywood Hills with an infinity pool) would constitute meaningful punishment or deter others from committing similar crimes," the prosecutors wrote.

They added that Huffman's "efforts weren't driven by need or desperation, but by a sense of entitlement, or at least moral cluelessness, facilitated by wealth and insularity," they said.

"Millions of parents send their kids to college every year. But they don't buy fake SAT scores and joke about it ("Ruh Ro!") along the way," they added, referring to an email Huffman wrote in 2017.

In response, Huffman's attorneys requested the judge sentence her to a one-year term of probation and 250 hours of community service. She would also pay the $20,000 fine called for in her guilty plea.

The 161-page sentencing memorandum includes 27 letters of support, including a letter from the actress herself, as well as her husband, Oscar-nominated actor William H. Macy, and her "Desperate" co-star Eva Longoria.

"Ms. Huffman is deeply remorseful for her crime. She recognizes that she deserves to be punished for what she did," her attorneys wrote.