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Actress Felicity Huffman escorted by police into court on May 13 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Getty Images/ Joseph Prezioso / AFP

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani sentenced actress Felicity Huffman on Friday to 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine, a year of supervised probation and 250 hours of community service in part of what authorities have called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Justice Department, per the AP.

Why it matters: Huffman is now the first parent to be sentenced of 34 charged in the admissions scandal led by consultant William Singer. The federal investigation, dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues," characterized the scheme as involving corrected admissions test scores, falsified student achievements and disabilities and bribed college coaches and administrators at prominent universities.

Context: Huffman was charged for paying $15,000 in 2017 to have her daughter's SAT score secretly corrected. In May, Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Earlier this month, she wrote in a letter to the federal judge presiding over her case that she consulted Singer for a year but did not know the scheme existed.

  • The amount Huffman paid is relatively low compared to other bribes alleged in the scheme.
  • The college admissions scandal involved at least $25 million, 750 families and went on from 2011 to early 2019.
  • Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, recently pleaded not guilty to their roles in the scheme.

How it worked: Singer managed and profited from the scheme through his nonprofit called The Key Worldwide Foundation.

  • Singer pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud U.S. and obstruction of justice in March.
  • Federal prosecutors charged more than 50 people in their probe.
  • The schools involved included Yale University, Wake Forest University, the University of San Diego, Stanford University, Georgetown University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.

What's next: "The case is seen as an indicator of what’s to come for others charged in the case. Over the next two months, nearly a dozen other parents are scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty. A total of 15 parents have pleaded guilty, while 19 are fighting the charges," per the AP.

Go deeper: Timeline: The major developments in the college admissions scandal

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

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