PEOPLE Magazine interviewed Attorney J. Tooson regarding the possibility of actress Felicity Huffman receiving jail time for her role in the recent college admissions scandal.
In March of 2019, Huffman, along with 50 other parents, coaches, and admissions counselors, was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Prosecutors alleged that the actress paid $15,000 to William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit company Key Worldwide Foundation to falsify her daughter’s SAT scores. Singer was accused of paying a proctor to change Huffman’s daughter’s answers after she took the test.
As part of a deal, Huffman pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Prosecutor’s recommended to the judge that she be sentenced to 1 month in prison and 1 year of probation.
Attorney Tooson told PEOPLE that it is unlikely Huffman would spend 30 days behind bars. “Imposing jail time will not further any public safety goal and the conduct has already been deterred,” Tooson said. He stated that the conviction itself would serve as a message to the actress and others in the community that such actions will be punished, as being found guilty of a crime can have lifetime repercussions.
Ultimately, the judge will decide what sentence to impose. Huffman wrote a letter to the judge expressing remorse for her actions. In her statement, she said that she took full responsibility for what she did and is prepared to accept whatever penalties the judge finds fitting. The judge may consider the letter when determining the consequences Huffman must face.
In his interview, Attorney Tooson stated that submitting such a letter is common, and a sincere, personal statement can go a long way. He told PEOPLE, “the biggest thing you can do, rather than justify your actions, is accept responsibility. Realize and own up to the mistakes you made and the plan of action moving forward to be positively contributing to society.”
Along with her own personal letter, Huffman also had 27 other people write to the judge on her behalf.
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