U. S. College, Fourteen Days, Two Weeks discussed on Bloomberg Law
The list we help me got two weeks in jail for paying fifteen thousand dollars to record daughters entrance exam scores she's the first parent to be sentenced in the U. S. college admissions scandal what kind of message does her sentence sent to other parents who made a deal to those who are still fighting the charges and to the public joining me is former federal prosecutor Robert man's head of the white collar practice at McCarter in English so Bob Hoffman did everything seemingly right after she was charge she was the first parent to plead guilty she expressed remorse she apologized but does fourteen days seem like a light sentence well you're right June Felicity Huffman followed the defensive playbook perfectly he admitted her wrong doing immediately he had expressed a an enormous amount of contrition took full responsibility for crime he felt sorry for what he did to her daughter and she specifically referenced the impact that it had on other students who had legitimately gotten into the school based upon their own merits so she did everything that could have been asked for by our defense counsel yet he still wound up with fourteen days in jail and I think that's because the judge did not want to look like he was treating this as something that we'll see an affluent people could buy their way out of this is already a case that pits those with money those with access those in power against those who don't have that and that's really at the heart of this case so then you think that her sentence was harsher than if she'd been an average person well good government was only asking for one month in jail here so the defense was asking for probation the judge ultimately essentially split the difference by giving her two weeks in jail so really what kind of a compromise and sentenced but for somebody and Felicity Huffman position the idea of spending time in jail and something that I think sends a very strong message all. also important to remember that as they said earlier Felicity Huffman only paid a fifteen thousand dollar payment so to the extent the judge considers the amount of brides are the factors persons on the low end he also was one of the first people to come in to plead guilty to accept responsibility for this really is now the floor that other defendants are looking out to have entered guilty pleas here it's likely he'll be jail time that handed out by this judge out to all the other defendants let's talk now about the nineteen parents who chose not to seek a plea deal indications are that some of them are going to try to basically indict the system saying there isn't any difference between what they did and making a huge donation to a school to get your kid in do you think that defense will work well that is exactly what they're trying to do they're trying to put the entire college admissions process on trial and the judge has already made a couple comments that indicated that he believes that the system is somewhat broken he made the comment at one point saying outrage the system that is so distorted by money and privileged in the first place that's the outrage here and he acknowledged that their crack in the system so he knows the system has some problems they don't think he's going to allow the defense lawyers to make this trial about the college admissions system and ultimately the second crying in the defense here is going to be to attack the credibility Rick singer they needed mastermind of this whole process the fraud through pleaded guilty who was the architect of all this his credibility will be central to the prosecution's case and to the defense case because the government has to show that these parents knew that this money was not simply a contribution to the university but in fact with money that was funneled to athletic coaches and brides or is he meant for people to take perhaps on behalf of their children after this case ultimately about and that's why the credibility of Rick singer the cooperating witnesses so central another celebrity sitcom star Lori Laughlin and her husband are making what seems to be a little more so. hated argument they contend the defense is contending that the couple were giving legitimate donations to the charity set up by singer a real charity that supposedly supported opportunities for underprivileged students is their defense a little more viable well he still comes down to the credibility of Mr Sanger those checks were Peter this charity and according to the government that money was then funneled to coaches who would and then put a priority on those students applications saying that they were going to be on the railing came or the tennis team or some other sporting position in in their college when in fact the students may not even play tennis or did not grow competitively this is all part of the fraud and according to government these contributions to this charity were really bogus they're simply lays the final these brides to the coaches in the university the government have to prove that case they're gonna have to prove it through Mister singer the defense is going to argue that the CAC were written out to this legitimate five oh one C. three charity and that the parents had no reason to know that the money is being used as a bride Bob no matter what the defense raises won't the jurors see what actually happened here when the head of the ring testifies yes and that's exactly where the government is going to try to read but that argument that this was all on the up and up and this is perhaps a situation where money and power should not influence admissions into our colleges and universities but that's just the way the game is played right now they're gonna say this is not a case about whether alumni and money contribution should affect somebody's admission to devry university that's what the defense is arguing that now this case is about these defendants knew in fact that they were fraudulent misrepresentations made in our children's applications to the universities it needing the students based upon the fact that they're a competitive rower one that wasn't the case or admitting students based upon the fact that they were gonna play on the tennis team. when they did not play competitively those direct misrepresentations those false statements that the government's going to argue where the heart of this case and the defense is going to have to argue that those statements were not fault at all thanks for being on Bloomberg law Bob that's Robert men's a Carter in English coming up on Bloomberg law add another environmental rule to the list of protections revoked by the trump administration I'm June Grasso and this is Bloomberg as a matter..