KEY POINTS

  • Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavs was sentenced to five months in prison for paying bribes in the college admissions scandal
  • The scandal involves 33 parents of college applicants
  • One of these parents, actress Felicity Huffman, in September 2019 was sentenced to 14 days in jail and a fine of $30,000 

Another one of the 33 parents of college applicants accused of paying more than $25 million to get their children admitted into top tier schools was senteced to jail time and a fine for her role in this scandal that began in 2011.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts Tuesday revealed Michelle Janavs, whose family invented the popular Hot Pockets microwaveable turnovers, was sentenced to five months in prison for paying bribes in the college admissions scandal. Janavs was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release after prison. In October 2019, Janavs, 49, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

She was convicted for paying the scheme's confessed mastermind, Rick Singer, $100,000 to cheat on two of her daughters' ACTs. She also agreed to pay Singer $200,000 to have one of her daughters admitted to University of Southern California as a "fake beach volleyball recruit," CNN reported.

The prosecution described Janavs as one of four defendants that are "far and away the most culpable parents" in the admissions scandal. It said Janavs and the three other parents are "repeat players, who engaged in the conspiracy again and again, over years."

The investigation and related charges were made public on March 12, 2019 by United States federal prosecutors. The governement charged 53 people as being part of the conspiracy. Some of these people have pled guilty or agreed to plead guilty.

Others like actress Felicity Huffman received jail sentences. In September 2019, Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in jail and a fine of $30,000 for paying thousands of dollars to have one of her daughter's SAT scores inflated. She was the first parent to be sentenced in the college cheating scandal that has stained the U.S. higher education system.

Felicity Huffman Actress Felicity Huffman, shown leaving Boston's federal courthouse on Sept. 13, 2019 escorted by her husband William H. Macy, pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to boost her daughter's SAT college entrance exam score. Photo: AFP/Joseph Prezioso

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani also said Huffman must serve 12 months of supervised release and 250 hours of community service. Huffman apologized "to the students who work hard every day to get into college and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices supporting their children." Another actress, "Full House" star Lori Loughlin, pled not guilty to the charges laid out against her.

On Monday, Michael Center was sentenced to six months in prison after accepting $100,000 in bribes. He was a former tennis coach at University of Texas at Austin.

Federal prosecutors, who made the charges public on March 12, 2019, said 33 parents of the college applicants are accused of paying more than $25 million between 2011 and 2018 to Singer, organizer of the scam. Singer then used part of the money to illegally inflate entrance exam test scores and bribe college officials into accepting his client's children into their programs.

Singer owned the two firms at the heart of the long-running scam: Key Worldwide Foundation and The Edge College & Career Network. He later confessed he facilitated college admissions for children in more than 750 families. Singer faces up to 65 years in prison and a fine of $1.25 million.