While Felicity Huffman sits in Club Fed, another of the 15 parents faced her college admissions scandal sentencing. Jane Buckingham, the author of popular parenting books, is going to prison for three weeks for her payment to scam mastermind, Richard Singer. Buckingham’s outcome marks an escalation from Huffman’s 14-day prison sentence.
College admissions scandal is a “parenting don’t”
Like the other parents caught up in the scandal, including “Fuller House” actress Lori Loughlin, Buckingham paid college admissions scandal conductor, Richard Singer, to circumvent the typical admissions process.
In Buckingham’s case, she paid Singer to rig her son, Jack’s, ACT exam.
The ACT is a standardized test used in college admissions. The test covers English and reading comprehension, as well as math and scientific reasoning.
Initially, Buckingham’s son was supposed to take his ACT at a local high school. College admissions scandal mastermind Richard Singer paid a teacher at the school willing to take bribes.
But two days before the test, Buckingham’s son got sick. And that instigated a recorded phone call between Buckingham and Singer that handed prosecutors more leverage than the other parents.
Taking the initiative not to blow her expensive subterfuge, Buckingham asked if her son could take a phony test at home. And in the meantime, Singer’s accomplice, Mark Riddell, would take the test for him.
I mean, just wow. The idea that any non-disabled student would be allowed to take the ACT at home is simply ludicrous.
Not listening to her own advice
Authorities arrested Buckingham, 51, in March and charged her with conspiracy.
In May, the marketing executive entered a guilty plea. This week received a sentence of three weeks in prison and a $40,000 fine.
In comparison, former “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman is serving a 14-day sentence for her involvement.
The extra week is likely in consideration of just how devious and hands-on Buckingham was in the process. Particularly in suggesting the home-exam.
“I committed this crime for myself,” Buckingham 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.”
But Buckingham clearly doesn’t take her own advice. In a 2016 interview, she advised moms to realize they’re not Super Woman.
“She knew what she did was wrong, she accepted responsibility for her crime as soon as she was arrested — from that very first day, when she told her children that she would plead guilty — and she continues to demonstrate remorse for what she has done,” Buckingham’s attorneys wrote in a sentencing memo.
Jane Buckingham’s son apologizes
Despite not knowing about the college admissions scandal, Jack Buckingham says he’s sorry for his mom’s deception and fraud.
“I know there are millions of kids out there both wealthy and less fortunate who grind their ass off just to have a shot at the college of their dreams,” he said.
“I am upset that I was unknowingly involved in a large scheme that helps give kids who may not work as hard as others an advantage over those who truly deserve those spots.”
“For that, I am sorry, though I know my word does not mean much to many people at the moment,” Jack continued.
“While the situation I am going through is not a pleasant one, I take comfort in the fact that this might help finally cut down on money and wealth being such a heavy factor in college admissions.
“Instead, I hope colleges may prioritize an applicants’ character, intellect, and other qualities over everything else.”
At least Jack has the good character his mother does not.
Perhaps the author of books like “The Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood” and “The Modern Girl’s Guide to Sticky Situations” is learning from this.
Jane Buckingham’s college admissions scandal sentencing must just inspire her to expand the topics she writes about. Maybe her next book will be something more like “The Modern Girl’s Guide to Honesty.”