A well-heeled mother who“gloated” with her daughterafter cheating her child’s way into Georgetown University has been sentenced to prison — after asking a federal judge to serve it as home detention because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Elizabeth Henriquez, 57, was sentenced to seven months behind bars Monday after agreeing to pay more than $500,000 to scam her two children into elite colleges — part of the sweeping “Varsity Blues” admissions scandal that rocked the country last year.
Last week, the mother filed a sentencing memorandum requesting to serve out her forthcoming sentence in home confinement, citing the COVID-19 health crisis, theBoston Herald reported.
But federal prosecutors on Monday pushed for prison time arguing that Henriquez was a fully engaged participant in the scam, which involved getting her eldest daughter designated a fake athletic recruit to Georgetown.
“Henriquez also knew that the payment was not legitimate because she knew that her daughter was not a Division 1 caliber tennis player, and that her credentials were being falsified so that Ernst could credibly allocate one of his walk-on spots to her in exchange for the money,” prosecutors wrote.
US District Judge Nathaniel Gorton rejected her request for home confinement but delayed the start of her sentencing date until June 30,according to Bloomberg News.
Henriquez, from the wealthy town of Atherton, California, had begun scheming with the scandal’s mastermind, William “Rick” Singer, back in 2015 to shell out the big bucks toward a crooked SAT proctor who sat side-by-side with her daughter as the two doctored test answers.
As part of the scam, her daughter, Isabelle, also applied to Georgetown as a “top 50 ranking” tennis recruit in the United States — even though she hadn’t played tennis competitively in years.
“At her best, she appears to have ranked 207th in Northern California in the under-12 girls division, with an overall win/loss record of 2-8,” prosecutors wrote in the complaint.
A portion of Henriquez’s payment went to a corrupt Georgetown tennis coach who agreed to recruit Isabelle despite her fake credentials.
After Isabelle was successfully admitted, Henriquez tapped Singer to replicate the college exam cheating three more times before they were nabbed by the feds.
Most students involved in the scandal were oblivious to their parents’ malfeasance, but Isabelle, her mother and the crooked proctor all gloated together after the brazen SAT rigging, according to a criminal complaint.
Henriquez pleaded guilty to federal fraud and money laundering charges last October. In addition to her jail time, she must also pay a $200,000 fine and conduct 300 hours of community service.