Parent in college scam leaving prison early because of virus

A parent sentenced to six months in prison for participating in the college admissions bribery scheme is getting to go home early because of the coronavirus pandemic

BOSTON -- A parent sentenced to six months in prison for participating in the college admissions bribery scheme is getting to go home early because of the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge has ruled.

Toby Macfarlane, a former real estate executive from Del Mar, California, will be released to home confinement after his lawyers argued the conditions behind bars put him at serious risk of contracting the virus. He will be released after he completes a 14-day quarantine in prison on April 21, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said this week.

Macfarlane was sentenced in November after admitting to paying $450,000 to get his children into the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits.

Macfarlane was supposed to be released from prison on June 30.

His lawyer said his client was told earlier this month that he would be transferred to a halfway house but first had to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Macfarlane was then taken to higher-security facility, where his lawyers say he has been confined 24 hours a day and had no change of clothes.

The judge said Macfarlane's two-weeks in confinement is the equivalent of spending two months in the lower-security camp where he was serving. Therefore, the judge cut his sentence to time served and ordered him to remain in home confinement with electronic monitoring until June 30.

An email was sent to Macfarlane's lawyer on Friday.