April 30 (UPI) — A federal judge on Thursday pushed back the date for two parents to report to prison to serve their sentences in the college admissions scandal, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Massachusetts ruled in favor of allowing the self-sacrifice dates for both former Pimco CEO Douglas Hodge and Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janvas to be delayed until June 30.
Gorton, however, opposed requests by both defendants to modify their sentences and instead serve in home confinement, saying that no “extraordinary and compelling circumstances” exist to justify reducing their sentences.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is an uprecedented and continually evolving cause of concern and the Court is cognizant of the particular transmission risk in penitentiary facilities … notwithstanding the current public health crisis, this federal judge will not forfeit his obligation to impose a sentence that is warranted by a defendant’s criminal conduct,” Gorton wrote, referencing an earlier decision to postpone the self-surrender date of Elizabeth Henriquez, another parent sentenced in the case to the same date.
Hodge was sentenced to nine months in prison for attempting to pay $850,000 to falsify admissions criteria to get his four children admitted to prestigious universities.
Janvas was ordered to serve five months for paying $300,000 to gain college admission for her children.
Both were sentenced in February and were scheduled to report to prison next week after another successful request to delay their self-surrender in March.
Gorton said the court will entertain further motions in their cases if the public health crisis related to the coronavirus extends beyond the end of June.