Parenting advice author Jane Buckingham sentenced to prison for college admissions scam

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“Don’t cheat, it’ll make my cheating less effective”


I see a new career as a prisoner advice author.


Wow, three whole weeks! That’s a pretty harsh sentence for a rich white woman. The judge must have been intending to send a message (other than the one they actually accomplished).


Apparently, that’s the case. I was listening to podcast about this, and a former federal prosecutor was saying that, in a federal case, it’s very rare for anyone to do a small fraction of the full sentence on a plea deal – if there’s a plea the person usually does no time at all. He said this was a message to those who aren’t taking pleas: you’re gonna be doing a lot of time in prison. He also said that the initial “queen for a day” plea deals are long gone for the holdouts like Lori Loughlin.

We’ll see if this pans out, of course. And as far as I’m concerned, Buckingham’s sentence is still far too lenient even under a plea deal. When it comes to the American justice system, wealthy white people in America benefit from a cheat that dwarfs Rick Singer’s testing and admissions racket.


Ugh, her career sounds like a Silicon Valley side character. Trendera? Really?


What Jane’s text obscured:


“Want to live an honest life? Don’t. Cheat.”


I’d bet she’s trying to find someone to serve the time for her.


Exactly - the judge thought he was sending a “hard punishment is coming if you’re bad!” message, but really, it was a “if you’re rich and white, we’re still going to bend over backwards to avoid punishing you for things we’d be giving a poor non-white person a life sentence with no parole for, even if we do frown slightly more about it”.


Here’s the thing. You cannot bribe your kid into college if no one at the college accepts bribes. While this practice is obviously not cool, I’m not sure if the parents are the people that should be going to jail. Nobody was being forced to take the money. I feel like this is some sort of symbolic thing, where they are punishing a few modestly rich people as opposed to the real super-rich people that are fucking everything up.


Wouldn’t that be akin to arresting a prostitute and letting the john go free?

3 weeks of time sends a pretty weak message.
That’s how justice rolls for the well to do?

I’m not sure how the fact that some crimes require a conspirator is relevant to the desirability of punishing people for committing them.

More concretely, this particular situation is an example of how you can bribe kiddo in without cooperation from the school: they spoofed the ACT score in order to present the college with a more promising candidate. They didn’t have to know(and probably weren’t intended to).

While I think that it is a rather silly that it is illegal for two adults to make an agreement to exchange sexual services for money, it would seem to be a case of equal responsibility for both parties in that example. In this scenario, you would seem to have a wealthy person who is motivated to get their dumb kid into a particular college, and a college that’s like “Well, if you write us a big check, we’ll see what we can do for you.” It seems to me, that if this is a big problem that needs to be addressed, that coming down on the institutions and individuals involved like a ton of bricks might would perhaps do more to discourage this behavior in the future than putting a handful of minor celebrities in jail. Most rich people are not at all famous, so it’s rather odd that only this handful of public figures got caught doing this. It just looks like “justice theater” to me.

If Singer sold a means of access via an entrance process that was otherwise fair, he should be held primarily accountable for introducing corruption. The parents are secondarily responsible.

I can see your analogy working like this: Singer is the pimp.

I conflated this situation with the other high profile situations on this matter, this seems a bit more egregiously fraudulent on the part of the rich parent here. This is undoubtedly selfish and unethical behavior by these individuals, but they are just displacing one deserving kid with their own, whereas the institutions are doing this en masse, and making a big show about prosecuting a handful of individuals will do absolutely nothing to curb this practice, but they make excellent lightning rods for the growing dissatisfaction with the various abuses of power and privilege. Parents want to help their children, and it’s not that hard to imagine that a person who might not ordinarily engage in things like this could rationalize it if the opportunity is presented.

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