Famous actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman could spend up to two decades behind bars.
In reality, the two actresses will only get under two years of jail time. In fact, they might get just 6 months in jail over their involvement in a college admission scam if found guilty.
The scam is the biggest to be discovered by the Justice Department. And Loughlin and Huffman could end up in prison for 20 years if found guilty.
On Wednesday, the two were in court. They were among 33 parents who had paid to have their children's grades in a college admission exam improved so that they could find a place in elite universities.
A 53-year-old father claims he paid $15,000 for his daughter to get answers to an ACT college entrance exam. The parent, Peter Jan Sartorio, is an entrepreneur.
On Wednesday, 13 people were in court, and among them was Loughlin's husband, a designer Mossimo Giannulli.
A 20-year jail term in a federal prison is a possibility. Another one is three-year probation with a $250,000 fine for all of them.
The defendants face charges of trying to commit mail fraud in addition to honest services fraud.
The Initial Hearings Reveal Details Of The Fraud
During the hearing, these parents signed paperwork concerning bail. They were asked if they knew how serious the charges facing them were.
Also, they turned over their passports and had to agree to terms touching on the discussions they could have with their family members regarding the case.
Huffman also paid about $15,000, but the payment was disguised as a charitable donation. This fee would allow her daughter to be part of the college admissions scam so that she could secure admission to an elite college.
Felicity Huffman was arrested while in her home in Los Angeles.
She was released later after she paid a bond worth $250,000.
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli also face accusations of paying $500,000 to have their daughters become recruits in the USC crew team despite not being rowers.
The husband and wife duo even helped create fake athletic profiles so that their daughters could secure these prestigious positions.
According to media reports, jail time is highly likely due to how much media scrutiny and the public attention the two have received over the scams.
How Does This Work?
In the college admissions scam, the actresses paid an admissions consultant. He would then bribe college coaches so that their children's test results would be rigged. Eventually, the kids would get into elite learning institutions.
Both actresses have not said anything about the accusations.
Their jail time is likely to be at least 6 months. It is rumored that the sentences will be under two years if they either plead guilty or get convicted. One of the factors that will determine how serious a jail term they get is their cooperation with the investigation team.
The player in this scam story is William Rick Singer. He had help from coaches from notable elite colleges such as Yale. Some of the defendants parted with as much as $35,000 to have their children's scores altered.