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Actress Felicity Huffman sentenced to two weeks in jail in college admissions cheating case

Key Points
  • Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to two weeks in jail for paying thousands of dollars to fraudulently boost her daughter's chances of attending an elite university.
  • Huffman, 56, paid $15,000 as part of a cheating scheme to have a college counselor correct wrong answers on her oldest daughter's SAT scores in 2017, according to federal authorities.
  • The "Desperate Housewives" star and wife of actor William H. Macy had pleaded guilty to the charges against her in May.
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Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in prison, 250 hours of community service

Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in jail for paying thousands of dollars to fraudulently boost her daughter's chances of attending an elite university.

Huffman was also ordered by federal Judge Indira Talwani to pay a $30,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service.

The jail sentence in U.S. District Court in Boston is two weeks less than what federal prosecutors had recommended — but not as lenient as the non-jail sentence that Huffman wanted.

"I broke the law," Huffman said in a statement to NBC News. "There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period."

The "Desperate Housewives" star and wife of actor William H. Macy is just one among dozens of wealthy parents who paid hefty bribes to test proctors, college athletics officials or other fixers in order to help secure spots for their children at prestigious schools.

She will be given a future date to report to jail, NBC10 Boston reported.

Huffman, 56, paid $15,000 as part of a cheating scheme to have a college counselor correct wrong answers on her oldest daughter's SAT scores in 2017, according to federal authorities.

She pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Felicity Huffman arrives with her husband William H. Macy at John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse in Boston on Sept. 13, 2019.
Nic Antaya | Boston Globe | Getty Images

The prosecutors in Massachusetts federal court had recommended Huffman spend one month in jail — near the low end of the sentencing guidelines in the case — followed by one year of supervised release and a $20,000 fine.

Lawyers for Huffman had asked that she be sentenced to a year of probation, along with 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine.

Huffman's payment in the college admissions scandal is dwarfed by some other alleged cheaters. "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin, for instance, is accused with her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, of paying a total of $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California.

Loughlin pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

Read Huffman's full statement:

I accept the court's decision today without reservation. I have always been prepared to accept whatever punishment Judge Talwani imposed. I broke the law. I have admitted that and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period.

I would like to apologize again to my daughter, my husband, my family and the educational community for my actions. And I especially want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices supporting their children.

I have learned a lot over the last six months about my flaws as a person. My goal now is to serve the sentence that the court has given me. I look forward to doing my community service hours and making a positive impact on my community. I also plan to continue making contributions wherever I can well after those service hours are completed.

I can promise you that in the months and years to come that I will try and live a more honest life, serve as a better role model for my daughters and family and continue to contribute my time and energies wherever I am needed.

My hope now is that my family, my friends and my community will forgive me for my actions.

VIDEO3:0303:03
CNBC's 'American Greed' takes a deep dive into the college admissions scandal

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.