A federal judge sentenced Los Angeles businessman Stephen Semprevivo to four months in prison last week for his part in this year’s massive college admissions scandal. Semprevivo pleaded guilty in May to fraud and conspiracy for shelling out $400,000 to the scandal’s mastermind, William “Rick” Singer in 2016. In return, Singer secured a spot at Georgetown University for Semprevivo’s son as a tennis recruit even though the young man did not play the sport.
Semprevivo offered a tearful courtroom apology, saying he took full responsibility for his actions and deserved punishment. In a letter sent in August to the court, Semprevivo described how foolish ambition for his son’s happiness drove him. “Looking back, I can see that Rick Singer worked me over and got me to do and believe things I am ashamed of and deeply regret,” he wrote. “I wanted the future for my son that he had worked so hard for. This was the main factor in my bad judgment.”
Semprevivo was the third parent sentenced to jail time in the scandal. Former Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman received the lightest sentence so far at just 14 days, while Semprevivo and fellow California businessman Devin Sloane got four months. All three offenders owe fines and community service hours, as well. More sentencings are scheduled in the coming months. Of the 33 parents charged in the scheme, 14 have pleaded guilty and 19—including former Full House actress Lori Loughlin—are fighting the charges. —Laura Edghill