The Los Angeles marketing executive and best-selling author Jane Buckingham, who honest-to-god wrote a book entitled The Modern Girl’s Guide to Sticky Situations, was sentenced to three weeks in prison on Wednesday for her role in the college-admissions scandal.
A judge also ordered the 51-year-old to fork over a $40,000 fine after she pleaded guilty in May to fraud and conspiracy after agreeing to pay $50,000 for a test proctor to take the ACT exam for her son in 2018, Law360 reported. Her son, who was unaware of the scheme, reportedly got a 35 out of 36 on the test.
“I committed this crime for myself,” she wrote in a letter to the court. “Not because I wanted my son to go to any particular school, but because I needed to make myself feel like a better mother.”
Nearly a dozen other parents, including Emmy Award-winning actress Felicity Huffman, have also received prison time in the wide-ranging FBI case dubbed Operation Varsity Blues. Investigators have charged more than 50 defendants nationwide.
Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in prison after she confessed to paying a Harvard graduate $15,000 to correct her eldest daughter’s answers on the SAT, which secured her a 400-point bump on the college entrance exam. She reported to a federal prison in Dublin, Calif., last week.
Others, including Full House actress Lori Loughlin, have pleaded not guilty in the sprawling federal case. Loughlin was charged on Tuesday with additional counts in a new indictment that alleges she conspired to commit federal program bribery. Prosecutors have said Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, paid the scheme’s ringleader Rick Singer nearly $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as purported crew recruits.
Buckingham, a single mom, reportedly choked up as she apologized in court on Wednesday and has said she has “absolutely no excuse” for her actions. Her lawyer requested probation, and prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence her to six months in prison.
“Unlike other defendants, this defendant orchestrated a complete fraud, none of her son’s score was his own and that’s how she planned it," prosecutor Justin O’Connell reportedly said in court.