Felicity Huffman completes prison sentence, released early
Felicity Huffman's sentencing gives prosecutors a crucial win as they seek prison sentences for other parents charged in the historic case. USA TODAY
Actress Felicity Huffman was released Friday from a federal prison in California after serving 11 days there for paying someone to fix her daughter's SAT exam, completing her two-week sentence two days early.
Huffman, the first parent to serve time in the nation's college admissions scandal, was released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, USA TODAY confirmed.
The former "Desperate Housewives" star was given a 14-day prison sentence by a Boston federal judge in September for her actions. But the prison released her before the weekend, following a federal prison policy that can be applied to inmates whose release date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday. Her departure is not considered early release for good behavior.
Huffman, 56, served her time in a low-security prison near the San Francisco Bay area that houses 1,227 female inmates. She reported to prison Oct. 15, but with one day of prior jail credit from her March arrest, a prison official said, making her originally scheduled release date this Sunday.
The college admissions scam involving Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman shows how some rich families use a “side door” to game an already unfair education system. USA TODAY
She pleaded guilty in April to paying $15,000 to Rick Singer, the mastermind of a nationwide college admissions scheme, to have someone correct answers on the SAT test of her oldest daughter, Sophia.
Huffman's daughter's SAT score improved to a 1420 as a result of the cheating, up 400 points from when she took the PSAT by herself the previous year.
Other past famous inmates at the Dublin federal prison include author and actress Patty Hearst, Heidi Fleiss, known as the "Hollywood Madam," and Sara Jane Moore, who attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975. Forbes Magazine named the facility one of America's top 10 "cushiest" prisons in 2009.
In addition to prison, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani ordered Huffman pay a $30,000 fine, serve one year of supervision upon her release and perform 250 hours of community service.
Eleven parents have been sentenced in the "Varsity Blues" admissions scandal, with all but one receiving incarceration. Prison sentences have ranged between two weeks and five months.
Prosecutors say they will seek substantially greater prison time for the other actress charged in the case, Lori Loughlin, who has pleaded not guilty to charges involving the recruitment scheme. Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to Singer's sham nonprofit for their two daughters to be classified as crew recruits at the University of Southern California.
Prosecutors this week brought additional federal bribery charges against the celebrity couple and nine other parents.
Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.