We’ve got the latest news on Operation Varsity Blues, the college admissions scandal that put Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman behind bars for two weeks–and may end with Lori “Aunt Becky” Loughlin in prison for a long, long time.
Felicity Huffman appears to be doing okay as she serves her 13 days at a low-security facility near San Francisco. She looks grim and make-up free in this paparazzi photo, where she can be seen in a prison-issued green jumpsuit.
The inmates are issued standard toiletries, including toothpaste and body wash, but they aren’t allowed luxuries.
Paparazzi also spied on her visit with husband William H. Macy on Monday as they walked around a small outdoor area hand in hand.
Macy has been diligent about visiting his jailbird wife. At least one of her daughters has also come to visit.
She’ll be out of jail on Sunday, October 27. Afterward, Felicity will still need to put in 250 hours of community service.
So far 10 parents who have pled guilty, including Felicity Huffman, have been sentenced for their roles in the college admissions scam.
On the low end, frozen burrito mogul Peter Jan Sartorio has managed to get off with a slap on the wrist and zero jail time. At the other extreme, Napa Valley wine kingpin Augustin F. Huneeus was sentenced to 5 months in prison.
Huneeus paid $50,000 to have his daughter’s SAT score improved and another $250,000 to scam her onto USC’s water polo team. He also told his daughter about the scam and instructed her not to tell anyone.
Felicity’s crimes were more similar to Sartorio, who paid $15,000 to bump up his kid’s SAT scores.
Lori Loughlin and hubby Mossimo Gianulli paid almost double what Huneeus did in order to send their daughters to USC as fake rowing team recruits.
Does that mean they’ll receive at least twice as much jail time? Not necessarily.
We still don’t know for certain if Lori’s daughters were informed about the scam. That seemed to be a major factor in Judge Talwani’s sentencing, so if prosecutors can prove that Olive Jade and Isabella were in on it, then that would be very bad their parents.
The other question is whether Lori and Mossimo will finally cave and accept a plea bargain.
It’s looking more likely that the former Full House star will avoid going to trial by pleading guilty. After seeing her fellow actress sentenced–and reportedly scrambling to get in touch with Felicity to ask her advice–Lori seemed to be less keen on taking her chances with a trial.
Lori and her husband declined the first deal offered to them because it included mandatory jail time. Then they were hit with even more serious felony charges.
Despite the increased pressure from prosecutors, Aunt Becky seemed determined to avoid a maximum prison sentence of 40 years by gambling on a jury trial.
That has changed now that Lori and Mossimo have been hit by an even more serious federal bribery charge. The new charge could give them an extra decade behind bars, bringing the max sentence up to 50 years–not to mention millions of dollars in fines.
Experts are now saying that it’s more than likely Lori and Mossimo–along with the other remaining parents who refused to accept an earlier deal–will change their plea to guilty.
Whatever deal the prosecution now offers them will be much harsher than the first one, and it will almost certainly include a sentence of months if not years in prison.