4 months ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Tyler Perry Being Honored For Generosity
Actor and producer Tyler Perry is being recognized for his work in entertainment, commitment to supporting charities and for “inspiring empathy and progress for humankind.” The renowned philanthropist will be honored with “The People’s Champion of 2020” award at the E! People’s Choice Awards. Perry has made history on multiple accounts, from opening the largest privately owned motion-picture studio in the U.S. to receiving a slew of prestigious accolades for his work including being named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
After making history becoming the first African-American to own a major film studio outright, opening Tyler Perry Studios last year, he announced plans to build a shelter for disadvantaged youth and homeless women to be located on the new 330-acre film studio property in Atlanta, Georgia. Perry’s generosity has been unwavering for over a decade. He has been intimately involved and donated generously to civil rights and human rights causes. Perry also strongly supports charities serving the homeless, including Feeding America, Global Medical Relief Fund, and Covenant House, among others.
In 2009, Perry gave the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People a $1 million dollar gift to celebrate the historic nonprofit’s centennial. The financial blessing made history at the time on its own as the largest individual donation from an artist the organization has ever received. After the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, Perry jumped into action. He pledged $250,000 to help the island recover, then raised his own total and promised an additional $750,000 to make it a cool million. His charity reportedly inspired others to give hundreds of thousands of dollars as well.
Aside from supporting many charitable organizations, he has helped others during hard times. In 2010, while watching the news, Perry heard about 88-year-old Atlanta resident Rosa Lee Ransby and her 4-year-old great-granddaughter escaping from a house fire that destroyed the home she owned for 40+ years. He met with her and rented her a fully furnished home on the same street, paying all utilities as well. He then built her a new home where the old one burned down.
Perry worked with and featured gospel singer LaShun Pace’s music in many of his films. In 2018, when he heard Pace’s mother’s health was ailing and that she always dreamed of owning a home large enough for the whole family to live in, Perry purchased her a $350,000 home not far from Atlanta where the Pace family grew up. Bettie Ann Pace died in July 2020 but the last years of her life she was living her dream thanks to Perry’s kindness.
His generosity became known worldwide during the Christmas season of 2018. Perry paid off $430,000 of layaway items at the East Point and Douglasville Walmart stores prior to Christmas 2018. It was the holiday gift that was talked about around the world and he was labeled “Tyler Claus”. Perry had attempted to do the good deed anonymously, but later was outed as the ‘Secret Santa’.
This year, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, he supported his local community by picking up the tab for all groceries purchased during senior shopping hour at 73 supermarkets in both Atlanta and his hometown off New Orleans. He also purchased grocery store gift cards for police to hand out to Atlanta communities’ in-need. He also left a $21,000 tip to 42 out-of-work servers at his favorite local restaurant in Atlanta. Perry’s generosity and random acts of kindness run far and wide throughout the world and he uses his platform to encourage others to follow his lead. He also became one of the first filmmakers to safely resume filmmaking amid the COVID-19 pandemic by creating “Camp Quarantine” on the Tyler Perry Studios lot in Atlanta, GA, effectively getting his staff back to work.
8 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on US Surpasses 3 Million Coronavirus Cases
The U.S. coronavirus outbreak continues with over 3 million confirmed cases as more states reported record numbers of new infections, and Florida faced an impending shortage of intensive care unit hospital beds. Additional hospitalizations could strain healthcare systems in many areas, leading to an uptick in deaths from the respiratory illness that has killed more than 131,000 Americans since the pandemic began and many survivors are grappling with long-term complications. Authorities have reported alarming increases of daily caseloads in roughly two dozen states over the past two weeks, a sign that efforts to control transmission of the novel coronavirus have failed in large swaths of the country.
Last week, the country averaged just under 50,000 new cases daily — the highest rate recorded, and twice as high as a month ago. An influential coronavirus model has increased its projections for US deaths and it’s now forecasting more than 208,000 deaths by November. Experts say that face masks could save as many as 45,000 US lives by November if 95% of the population wears a covering in public, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which built the model.
California, Hawaii, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas shattered their previous daily record highs for new cases. California reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases in one day, a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks. About 24 states have also reported disturbingly high infection rates as a percentage of diagnostic tests conducted over the past week. New COVID-19 infections have risen in 42 states in the past two weeks. Only three other U.S. states have reported more than 10,000 cases in a day. Florida reported 11,458 new cases on July 4 and Texas reported 10,028 on July 7.
At least 56 intensive care units in Florida hospitals had reached capacity on July 7, state officials said. Another 35 hospitals show ICU bed availability of 10% or less, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration in that state. Georgia surpassed 100,000 reported coronavirus cases, becoming the ninth state to pass the mark. In California, the number of hospitalizations across the state were at an all-time high and the virus positivity rate jumped more than 2% in Los Angeles.
New York recorded 12,847 new infections on April 10, three weeks after the state implemented a strict lockdown that closed most businesses. Once the epicenter of the U.S. epidemic, New York saw cases rise by about 6% in June – the lowest rate in the entire country. In Texas, the number of hospitalized patients has more than doubled in just two weeks. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it was adding short-term “surge” testing sites in three metropolitan areas in Florida, Louisiana and Texas.
Affecting nearly one of every 100 Americans, the surge has forced authorities to backpedal on moves to reopen businesses, such as restaurants and bars, after mandatory lockdowns in March and April reduced economic activity to a virtual standstill and put millions of Americans out of work.
Governors and mayors in many states have ordered people in hotspot counties to wear face coverings in public. Recently published research found that on average, the time from exposure to symptom onset (known as the incubation period) is about five to six days. However, studies have shown that symptoms could appear as soon as three days after exposure to as long as 13 days later. That is why contact tracing is so important in controlling the spread of the coronavirus although in parts of the south and southwest, cases are now rising so quickly that experts are warning contact tracing isn’t possible any more.
9 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Covid 19 Cases In US Since Reopenings
There are now over 5 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 325,000 known deaths around the world. Over 2 million people around the world have recovered from the virus. Despite the US having less than 5% of the world’s population, there are almost 1.5 million confirmed cases with over 100,000 deaths, representing over one-quarter of all fatalities and almost one-third of the confirmed cases. Over 450,000 people have recovered from Covid 19 but there are now cases in the US of people that have been re-infected, meaning they did not develop antibodies to build immunity with their first infection.
Forty-eight states will be at least partially reopened this week as health experts continue to warn of the danger of a hasty end to lockdowns. Each state has their own guidelines on what businesses have reopened and a timeline on further openings. There are 17 states that have seen an uptick in new cases since reopening. Officials from the World Health Organization say those who ignore measures such as social distancing are at risk of seeing a resurgence of the coronavirus. They also advise people to wear face masks when they are in groups. While coronavirus generally doesn’t spread outdoors as easily as it does indoors, there’s still a risk with any cramped crowd — especially because the virus can spread by just talking.
A cluster of new cases emerged after a swim party in Arkansas. In Atlanta, several recent prep school graduates also tested positive for the coronavirus, including one who had friends over for a graduation party. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed new COVID-19 cases are predominantly coming from people leaving their homes to shop, exercise or socialize. Meanwhile, in California, Orange County’s coronavirus cases continue to mount, with over 4,000 cases reported. COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Texas, with 1,800 new infections reported last Saturday — the highest single-day increase in Texas so far. South Dakota has also seen a spike in cases since reopening.
Some states are now seeing drops in the number of confirmed cases. New Jersey, one of few states that had one of the strictest and longest stay at home orders, has seen a decrease in cases. This appears to be relatively bright news for hard-hit New Jersey, second in the country only to New York for the number of total reported cases with over 143,600 confirmed and over 10,000 deaths.
Missouri also saw a drop in cases when they began allowing all businesses to reopen May 4, but then an increase during the second week of reopening. Businesses were allowed to reopen provided they could abide by certain social distancing guidelines. Indoor retail businesses must limit their number of customers to no more than 25% of normal capacity, and local communities can choose stricter rules if they choose. Missouri has over 11,000 cases and over 600 deaths. Idaho, which only has around 2,500 cases, also saw a decrease in reported cases.
As each state opened, many leaders stressed the importance of following the social distancing guidelines but left responsibility up to it’s’ citizens. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. They say that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
11 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Kenny Rogers Passes Away
Kenny Rogers, whose legendary music career spanned six decades, has died at the age of 81. The artist’s family announced his passing, saying he died from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by family. “Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world,” read a statement posted by his publicist Keith Hagan. Rogers’ family planned a small, private service out of concern for the coronavirus pandemic, “but look forward to celebrating the life of Kenny Rogers publicly with his friends and fans at a later date,” his publicist’s statement said. Tributes to the country singer poured in from fans and musical artists.
Rogers was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013, for what organization officials called a “distinctive, husky voice.” He had 24 No. 1 hits and through his career more than 50 million albums sold in the US alone. He wasalso a six-time Country Music Awards winner and three-time Grammy Award winner.
Some of his hits included “Lady,” “Lucille,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Through the Years.” His 1978 song “The Gambler” inspired multiple TV movies, with Rogers as the main character. In 1985, he participated in the original recording of “We Are the World” along with more than three dozen artists. A year later, according to his website, he co-chaired “Hands Across America,” a campaign which sought to raise awareness about the homeless and hungry in the US.
He announced his retirement in 2015. “I’ve been so lucky to have enjoyed such a long career and to have such amazing support from my fans and all who have helped me along the way, but there comes a time when I need to focus on spending time with my family,” he had said. “My life is about my wife and my 11-year-old twin boys right now. There are a lot of things I want to do together with them to create some special memories. I don’t have a bucket list of my own … I have a bucket list of things I want to do with them.”
12 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Chelsea Manning Released
A US judge ordered Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning released from jail after one year behind bars on contempt charges for refusing to cooperate in a federal grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks. The order for her immediate release came one day after Manning was hospitalized in Virginia after she reportedly attempted suicide at a federal prison in Alexandria.
Judge Anthony J. Trenga wrote, “The court finds Ms. Manning’s appearance before the grand jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose.” Judge Trenga, however, rejected a request to cancel the fines imposed against Manning for refusing to testify. Manning will now have to pay $256,000.
Manning and her legal team showed that her imprisonment was nothing but punitive, and thus unjustifiable under the legal statutes governing federal grand juries. Yet for nearly a year, Manning has been caged and fined $1,000 per day. Ever since she was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury, which is investigating WikiLeaks, Manning has also insisted that there was never any justifiable purpose to asking her to testify.
In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking documents and video to WikiLeaks showing evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama granted her clemency in 2017. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia for violating the Espionage Act, and is accused of helping Manning try to access the Department of Defense computers. Assange is fighting extradition from London.
1 year ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads
As the outbreak of the mysterious new coronavirus rapidly spreads, the Chinese authorities said that the official count of known cases jumped again overnight, with the death toll now exceeding 400. According to the National Health Commission, the number of confirmed cases increased to over 20,000 but a shortage of test kits has led experts to warn that the real number may be higher.
Officials also announced that after repeated offers of assistance, Chinese authorities agreed to allow in teams of international experts, coordinated by the World Health Organization, to help with research and containment. Government scientists as well as those working at Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals are all working quickly to develop a vaccine. Hundreds of Americans have been evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, but some of their family members without U.S. visas have been left behind. British Airways has suspended all flights in and out of China.
The U.S. government declared a public health emergency last week and barred foreign nationals from entering the country within two weeks of visiting China, unless they are immediate family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The State Department has warned Americans against all travel to China, and is planning more evacuation flights to bring Americans home from the country this week. Those flights will land at four U.S. military bases, and similar to the evacuation flight that landed in California last week, passengers will be placed under federal quarantine for 2 weeks. The planes will be loaded with medical supplies and humanitarian goods, which the U.S. hopes to deliver to Wuhan on the first leg of the journey.
The head of the World Health Organization Ghebreyesus said some nations are lagging in the global fight against the deadly new coronavirus outbreak. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus accused some governments of wealthy countries of being “well behind” in sharing data on virus cases. “While 99 percent of cases are in China, in the rest of the world we only have 176 cases,” Tedros said in a technical briefing to the WHO’s Executive Board in Geneva. “That doesn’t mean that it won’t get worse. But for sure we have a window of opportunity to act… Let’s not miss this window of opportunity.”
1 year ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Three Baltimore Men Freed After 36 Years in Prison
Three Baltimore men who spent 36 years in prison were released after authorities say they were falsely convicted of a 1983 murder. Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart were granted a writ of innocence after being convicted of first-degree murder of a middle school student, DeWitt Duckett. According to police, Duckett, 14, was shot and killed for his coveted Georgetown University basketball jacket in November 1983.
Chestnut has maintained his innocence since his arrest and the parole board denied his early release in part because he refused to admit responsibility for the shooting, the state’s attorney said. After he filed an information request this past spring, he discovered new evidence that was kept from his attorneys during trial. He reached out to Baltimore’s Conviction Integrity Unit, which was reviewing old convictions.
Chestnut and Watkins were 16 at the time of their arrest and Stewart was 17. The three teenagers had been skipping high school classes to visit former teachers at Harlem Park Junior High. Their teachers said they were being “silly,” but not threatening. School security escorted them off campus about half an hour before the murder occurred, according to a joint petition filed by the men and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Watkins lawyer said the three teenagers were each arrested Thanksgiving morning, waking up with police with guns drawn on them. They were convicted based on witness testimony and what prosecutors at the time said was a crucial piece of evidence — a Georgetown jacket found in Chestnut’s bedroom. Chestnut’s jacket had no blood or gunshot residue and his mother was able to produce a receipt. A store clerk also testified that she had purchased it recently, the joint petition said.
Lawyers involved in the case said they were “horrified” to see the amount of exculpatory evidence that was hidden from the defense team and jury. Both the suspects and trial witnesses, all minors, were interrogated by police without their parents. Potential witnesses were interviewed in a group and told to “get their story together,” according to Chestnut’s lawyers. Anonymous calls identifying another shooter were kept from the defense, Mosby said. That teenager was seen after the shooting wearing what appeared to be Duckett’s jacket and confessing to the murder, she said. That suspect has since died and all trial witnesses have since recanted. “We have intentional concealment and misrepresentation of the exculpatory evidence, evidence that would have showed that it was someone else other than these defendants,” Mosby said.
Mosby apologized to the men “I don’t think that today is a victory, it’s a tragedy. And we need to own up to our responsibility for it,” Mosby said. “There’s no way we can repair the damage to these men, when 36 years of their life were stolen from them. You were all arrested on Thanksgiving 1983. Now you are free to spend the holidays with your loved ones for the first time in 36 years,” Mosby said in a press conference. The men are now in their early fifties preparing to enter adulthood on the outside for the first time and at least two have never driven a car before. Now, late in life, they will experience a world very different from the one they were barred from since their teens.
1 year ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Phoenix Officer Fired For Pulling Gun on Family Over Shoplifting
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams has fired Police Officer Christopher Meyer, who threatened to shoot a family after their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a Family Dollar store. The incident was captured in a viral cell phone video that shows Phoenix pointing a gun at the family’s car and threatening to shoot the girl’s father, Dravon Ames, in the face. The girl’s mother, Iesha Harper, is heard saying she is unable to hold her hands up because she is holding a child and that she is pregnant.
Meyer was one of a group of officers seen on video drawing his gun and cursing at Iesha Harper, who was pregnant and holding a baby, and her fiance, Dravon Ames. Officers were responding to a complaint about shoplifting last May. When questioned, the couple said they were unaware their 4-year-old daughter had taken a doll from a store. Police had said it went beyond shoplifting, and that the father refused to comply with commands several times.
The video prompted an immediate backlash when it surfaced in June. At a separate news conference, Ames and Harper said the officer’s dismissal should have happened a lot sooner but they were pleased nonetheless. The couple has filed a $10 million claim against the city. A second officer who was present will receive a reprimand for using foul language. But video shows he tried to calm the situation, Williams said. Williams rejected the Disciplinary Review Board’s recommendation that Meyer be suspended for six weeks. Instead, she fired him, saying “a 240-hour suspension is just not sufficient to reverse the adverse effects of his actions on our department, and our community.”
The decision to fire officer Meyer comes as Phoenix police announced the firing of another officer, Detective Dave Swick, who was involved in a Facebook database that tracked posts of current police officers across the United States that advocated for violence against Latinos, Muslims and women. Swick was fired do to facebook posts that were flagged as racist. Williams said her decision to let Swick go was “based on the number and the nature of the social posts.” Williams added that a total of 72 officers were flagged for their social media activity. Nine other officers were suspended following their investigation. A third officer who is under a criminal investigation for undisclosed reasons was also fired.
As a result, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is now pondering filing a vote of no confidence in Williams because they feel her firing of Meyer was too harsh. Count Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio is among those outraged by Williams decision saying she “gave into mob rule” from those who dislike the police. PLEA President London said the union has received 200 to 300 calls and emails from officers asking for a vote of no confidence over Williams’ decision to fire Meyer and Clinton Swick, who was terminated over his social media posts.
The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association released a statement: “The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) has a complete understanding of the position Chief Jeri Williams is in as the leader of the Phoenix Police Department and as an appointed employee of the City of Phoenix. However, we do not agree with the decision to terminate the employment of Officer Christopher Meyer and Detective Clinton Swick. PLEA is dedicated to its members, and we ensure that we carry our members’ interests through until the end of all the processes that encompass employment with the City of Phoenix. An appeal hearing is in order, as the Discipline Review Boards for both Officer Christopher Meyer and Detective Clinton Swick recommended suspensions without pay that were on the lower spectrum of the discipline class. Neither Discipline Review Board, which are composed of community members and police employees, recommended terminating either Officer Meyer or Detective Swick.”
1 year ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on GM Strike 2019
On September 15th, nearly 50,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) launched a strike, walking out of over 50 General Motors facilities. Workers say GM continues to deny employees’ demands for fair conditions and compensation despite leading the company to record profits following bankruptcy and a federal bailout. The nearly 50,000 full-time and temporary workers represented by the UAW make up about half of its workforce.GM workers say they are pushing for a more equitable contract that will guarantee better wages for new hires, stronger health-care benefits and more job security. Workers are forgoing their paychecks during the strike, though the UAW will pay them $250 a week from its strike fund.
GM has made over $30 billion in the past six years, since recovering from its 2009 bankruptcy. Although they received profit-sharing checks that totaled $52,500 for the same period, workers want pay raises that will show up year after year. They gave up cost-of-living pay raises and made other concessions to keep the company afloat during its 2009 bankruptcy, and now they want to be repaid. Longtime workers have received only two raises since 2010. Workers hired after 2007 still make less than older workers, and the union wants to erase that gap.
The company is facing a global auto sales slowdown and also says health care costs are too high, and it wants to cut labor costs so they are closer to U.S. factories owned by foreign competitors. Senior GM workers now make around $30 per hour, but with benefits, it adds up to $63 per hour. Total labor costs run an average of $50 per hour at the foreign plants. The car giant has moved to close a handful of production facilities in the United States in recent years despite strong profitability margins. GM made $8.1 billion in profit after taxes last year but announced the closure of four factories, scuttling thousands of jobs. GM says it has offered to make $7 billion in investments and create 5,400 jobs, including introducing electric trucks, opening a battery cell manufacturing site and investing in eight existing facilities.
The strike has effectively halted GM’s production in the US and just a day after the strike, GM responded with a letter announcing they had cut off health insurance for the nearly 50,000 people on picket lines across the country. GM spokesman David Barnas said the decision to cut workers’ health care was a standard practice during stoppages, likening it to the cessation of worker paychecks. A spokesperson for the UAW stated that they would cover the striker’s health-care fees under COBRA in the interim from the pool of money it keeps for strikes. Employee dental and vision plans will not be covered during the strike.
The effects of the strike have been felt quickly, when GM dismissed 1,200 workers from an assembly plant in Ontario, Canada just three days after the strike started. GM has said the temporary layoffs were the result of parts shortages in the United States because of the strike. The factory had produced full-size pickup trucks. Analysts say GM could be losing as much as $50 million to $100 million a day from the stoppage.
1 year ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Felicity Huffman Sentenced In College Admissions Scandal
U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani sentenced actress Felicity Huffman to two weeks in prison for paying $15,000 to get her daughter into college by having someone correct her answers on the SATs. Huffman also received a $30,000 fine and 250 hours of community service. She had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Her lawyers asked for no jail time, one year of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine. Her sentence likely means other parents who’ve pleaded guilty in the nation’s college admissions scandal will spend time behind bars. It could also mean that others who made significantly larger payments will end up with more lenient prison terms than prosecutors say are fair.
During Huffman’s sentence she told the courtroom she was deeply ashamed. Judge Indira Talwani said, “Ultimately, you knew it was fraud, it was not an impulsive act. Trying to be a good mother doesn’t excuse this.” Talwani added that the sentence she handed down was “the right sentence here,” but also told Huffman “You can rebuild your life after this,” the judge said. “You’ve paid your dues.” Huffman will report to prison in six weeks, on October 25. Where she’ll serve her sentence has not been announced and will ultimately be decided by the Bureau of Prisons.
Fifty-two people have been charged as part of the college admissions bribery scandal known as “Varsity Blues.” Of the 52 people charged in the scandal, 35 are parents. Fifteen, including Huffman, have pleaded guilty in deals with prosecutors, while 19, including actress Lori Loughlin, have pleaded not guilty and are preparing for trial. Rick Singer, the mastermind of the nationwide college admissions scandal, was paid to have cheat on their children’s SAT or ACT while others paid substantially more to get their children falsely tagged as athletic recruits as a way into prestigious schools. Huffman is the first parent to be sentenced and prosecutors sought one month prison time for Huffman. Prosecutors are pushing for longer sentences for other defendants — more than three years in some cases.
The next parent to be sentenced in Boston federal court is Devin Sloane, CEO of Los Angeles-based waterTALENT. He pleaded guilty to paying $250,000 to Singer’s sham nonprofit to falsely designate his son as a water polo player to gain acceptance into the University of Southern California. Prosecutors are seeking one year in prison for Sloane. Sloane’s hearing is scheduling for September 24th. Two days later, Stephen Semprevivo, a former executive at Cydcor, also based in Los Angeles, will be sentenced. He pleaded guilty to paying $400,000 to Singer to get his son admitted into Georgetown University as a fake tennis recruit. Prosecutors have asked that Semprevio receive 15 months in prison.
Both upcoming cases will reveal whether the judge treats the recruiting scheme the same as the testing scam, and whether she comes down harder on parents who paid more to Singer. Longer sentences could be in store for parents who participated in the recruitment scheme because it had a more “direct effect” on the admissions process than test tampering. Such parents, including Loughlin, accused of paying $500,000 to Singer, have argued they made “legitimate donations” to Singer’s nonprofit, which they said had a history of donating to colleges.
Prosecutors have argued parents who paid more money to Singer should receive longer prison terms. An order by the judge released hours before Huffman’s sentencing could cap sentences at six months for parents regardless of their how much they paid. Judge Talwani ruled against the government’s request to sentence defendants under the federal commercial bribery statute, which allows more severe sentences depending on the amount of money paid. Instead, all sentences will be based on fraud statute guidelines, which recommend six months or less in prison for the offense.