Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in prison in ‘Varsity Blues’ case

The Oscar-nominated actress will serve time behind bars after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud and admitting she paid the scheme’s organizer to falsify her daughter’s SAT score.
5:59 | 09/14/19

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in prison in ‘Varsity Blues’ case
Reporter: A solemn felicity Huffman clutching her husband William H. Macy's hand while arriving in court in Boston today to hear her fate. The first of many parents to be sentenced in operation "Varsity blues." The punishment for being part of one of the largest college admissions scams -- 14 days in jail, 250 hours of community service and a $30,000 fine. The sentence for one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Almost six months to the day after the FBI arrested the Hollywood actress at her home. Huffman plead guilty in may. The judge made it clear that she wants to send a message that just because you've got money and you've got privilege it doesn't mean that you can get away with something like this. The actress of "Desperate housewives" fame. You're asking for a bribe? Tearfully apologizing in court for paying a consultant $15,000 to change her daughter's S.A.T. Score. Calling her own conduct "Stupid" and "Wrong" and "Taking full responsibility for her actions." Is prison the right sentence? Huffman trending on Twitter this afternoon -- some making comparisons to an African American mother in Ohio who was originally sentenced to five years in prison for fraudulently using her father's address to get her children into a nearby suburban school district. Her sentence was later reduced to ten days in jail. Prosecutors had been arguing for a month behind bars, saying, "A message must be sent for the next felicity Huffman." Describing her actions as "Deliberate and manifestly criminal." Saying "Neither probation nor home confinement" --in a large home in the Hollywood hills with an infinity pool -- "Would deter others from committing similar crimes." Prosecutors asked for a month. Defense asked for probation. The judge split it right in the middle and gave her 14 days. Huffman's plea for leniency -- a letter -- was sent earlier this week to the judge where she stated her decision was out of "Desperation to be a good mother." "Believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot." She called motherhood "Bewildering" which, coupled with her daughter's "Learning disabilities" made her do what was "The opposite of fair." She revealed all her motivation in getting involved in this, she apologized profusely for everything that she did. She really took full responsibility. And she had a bunch character witnesses including Eva Longoria and her husband. Nearly a dozen other parents now face sentencing after pleading guilty in the scandal. Another 19 are fighting the charges. They are accused of doling out more than 25 million dollars to cheat the admissions system and secure entry for their children into some of the most elite colleges, from Stanford, to Yale, to Georgetown. This is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat the system. Prosecutors say they uncovered widespread bribes to exam officials to cheat on standardized tests, as well as paying off coaches for athletic slots, even staging photos for applicants who never played the sport. The head women's soccer coach for Yale, in exchange for $400,000 accepted an applicant as a recruit for the Yale women's team despite knowing that the applicant did not even play competitive soccer. Authorities say this man, William "Rick" singer, was the mastermind Hi. My name is Rick singer. And I'm the founder of the key. As a father myself, I understand the stress the college admissions process can put on investigators say the key was a fake college non-profit through which singer funneled bribes. This enabled parents to not only mask the true nature of the payment, but also take the tax write off at the end the year. Reporter: Singer is now a cooperating witness. This is a game, just realize this is a game. Reporter: A video shows singer pitching himself as the star of his own reality show, centered around the stresses of college admissions. Mom and dad go to a dinner party. They hear about every kid going into this school, Sunday morning, my phone rings off the why? How come we're not doing this. Reporter: Singer pled guilty to a host of charges and faces 10 to 20 years in prison. He also turned against his clients, including Huffman and Lori Laughlin of "Full house" fame. He may have embellished, lied, a bit on our application. Reporter: They are accused of paying half a million dollars in bribes to get their two daughters into the university of southern California. Singer pitched the daughters as recruits for the crew team despite the fact that neroed. 19-year-old Olivia is a social media influencer, known as Olivia jade to nearly 2 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. She landed paid partnerships with sephora, tresemme and Amazon. But after news broke, all three terminated their relationships with her. Lori, Lori, Lori, pay for my tuition! Reporter: They have since left usc. Lori Laughlin and her husband have pleaded not guilty to mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. Huffman's sentence now complicating Lori's case. She and her husband return to court next week. If Lori Laughlin goes to court and is convicted she will much more likely get more time than Huffman got. Reporter: Huffman has until October 25th to turn herself in to serve her 14 days.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"5:59","description":"The Oscar-nominated actress will serve time behind bars after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud and admitting she paid the scheme’s organizer to falsify her daughter’s SAT score.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"65609973","title":"Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in prison in ‘Varsity Blues’ case","url":"/Nightline/video/felicity-huffman-sentenced-14-days-prison-varsity-blues-65609973"}