A California woman was sentenced on Tuesday to seven months in prison for paying $450,000 in bribes to give her two daughters an advantage in the college admissions process. Elizabeth Henriquez, along with her husband Manuel, pleaded guilty late last year to charges of fraud for their involvement in the nationwide college admissions scam. The sentencing hearing was held on video to adhere to social distancing practices amid the coronavirus pandemic. Henriquez requested that she avoid prison time and instead be confined at home, which her lawyer Aaron Katz said “is entirely conceivable federal prison will not be a safe place for Elizabeth until there is a COVID-19 vaccine.”
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton, however, rejected the bid and instead delayed her entry into prison until at least June 30. “I have every hope that the coronavirus crisis will abate in a matter of months and that Ms. Henriquez will be able to serve her sentence safely and rebuild her life,” Gorton said. Fifty-three people, including Henriquez, have been charged in the large-scale scheme in which wealthy parents paid bribes to cheat the college admissions process. Henriquez is accused of paying $400,000 to get her oldest daughter into Georgetown University by posing as a tennis recruit.