Huffman sentence “set the floor” in college admissions scam, lawyer says

A prominent New York City lawyer was given one month in prison on Thursday for his role in the college admissions scandal that has involved Hollywood actresses, CEOs, real estate developers and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Gordon Caplan pleaded guilty to paying to improve his daughter’s score on a college entrance exam and was sentenced to one year of probation upon his release from prison. He’ll also have to pay a $50,000 fine and do 250 hours of community service.

Prosecutors asked for an eight-month sentence, saying the attorney lacked morality, showed callous disregard for the law. They called Caplan “brazen and corrupt.” In May, Caplan pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and conspiracy for paying $75,000 to have the answers on his daughter’s ACT exam corrected.

In a brief address to reporters after leaving federal court in Boston Thursday, Caplan said, “I fully respect the decision of the court today. I am deeply and profoundly sorry for being involved in this mess.”

Caplan’s attorney, Joshua Levy, spoke to CBS News’ Don Dahler in what marks the first sit-down interview with a lawyer for any of the parents involved in the scandal.

“This conduct clearly crossed the line,” Levy said. “I think the sentence of Felicity Huffman who engaged in similar conduct set the floor a little bit … I think maybe we could have gotten a sentence comparable to hers and we came close.”

Last month, actress Huffman learned she must spend 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT exam corrected. She, like Caplan, pleaded guilty.

But 19 other parents, like “Full House” star Lori Loughlin, have entered not guilty pleas. Loughlin and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters accepted into the University of Southern California as crew recruits. No trial date has been set, but this week a judge said they are aiming for 2020.

“There is a lot of aspects of the college admission system that I hope get revisited coming out of a case like this,” said Levy who added he thinks the attention on this case is a good thing.

Caplan must report to prison November 6. He is asking to serve at a low-security prison in New York known as Otisville. President Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen is currently serving there. Other alums of Otisville include former congressman Anthony Weiner and “Jersey Shore” star Mike Sorrentino.

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