Certain California legal cases generate substantial publicity and involve people who are well-known or wealthy. Often, these cases are white collar. They can warrant extensive penalties. Such is the case with the ongoing college admissions scandal. One person involved is an heir to a significant fortune and has received a prison sentence and hefty fine.
An heiress to the company that invented Hot Pockets will be incarcerated for five months and pay a fine of $250,000 for her role in the college admissions scam. The woman, 49, faced a lengthier term of 21 months. However, the judge gave her less time while rejecting a request to be placed on probation. She had paid $300,000 as part of the scheme intended to help her daughters’ college aspirations.
A consultant who the parents used pleaded guilty in March 2019. He had helped the students to get better scores by using stand-ins to take the college entrance tests. The students were also portrayed as college-level athletic recruits when they were not. The woman paid the consultant $100,000 for another person to take the ACT test for her daughters. The consultant was in control of the testing center, helping the ruse take place. Another $200,000 was paid so one daughter could be granted admission to the University of Southern California, supposedly as a beach volleyball player.
Eighteen years ago, the family sold the company – of which she was once an executive – for $2.6 billion. Being charged in federal court with white-collar crimes like bribery and fraud can lead to severe punishments if there is a conviction. Those who are facing these charges should be cognizant of the possible penalties. A law firm experienced with federal crimes might be needed to craft a strong defense to effectively combat the charges.