Court Denies Request By College Admissions Scandal Parents To Serve Their Prison Sentences At Home

Despite fears regarding the coronavirus, parents involved in the college admissions scandal will still have to spend time behind bars.

Michelle Janavs smiles at the camera.
Jerod Harris / Getty Images

Despite fears regarding the coronavirus, parents involved in the college admissions scandal will still have to spend time behind bars.

On Thursday, the federal court denied requests from parents charged in the college admissions scandal to serve their prison time from home. Both Douglas Hodge and Michelle Janavs submitted motions to request their sentences be changed to home confinement due to fears regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to The Daily Trojan.

Both Hodge and Janavs expressed concerns that they face an increased risk of becoming infected by COVID-19 for various reasons. Janavs, known for being the heiress of the Hot Pocket empire, claimed that she has an underlying health condition that increases her vulnerability. What exactly this health condition was is unclear.

She further claimed that if she did become infected, she would be at greater risk of developing serious health complications as a result. Within her motion she quoted statements and statistics from the Bureau of Prisons that prove that there are a large number of coronavirus cases in prisons due to the close quarters.

Meanwhile, Hodge said that because he is 62 years old, he as of the age that is known to be particularly vulnerable to becoming infected by COVID-19.

While the court did address these concerns, it stated that neither Hodge nor Janavs met the requirement for their prison sentences to be changed given the current circumstances.

“Their motions should be denied for the separate reason that they cannot establish ‘extraordinary and compelling circumstances’ that would justify reduced sentences. BOP has instituted substantial policies and procedures to manage the pandemic and prevent the spread of infection,” the document read.

The court further stated that neither of the prisons that Janavs and Hodge are expected to be housed in have any staff or inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the court will not consider a person’s request for a change to their sentencing unless they are already in prison.

“Janavs’s contention that she has satisfied the exhaustion requirements ignores the plain language of the statute, which does not contemplate a motion by an individual who is not yet in BOP custody. While Janavs may have sent a letter to a warden at a BOP facility, until she actually reports to that facility and is taken into custody, that warden is not ‘the warden of the defendant’s facility.'”

As The Inquisitr previously reported, Janavs pleaded guilty to paying $400,000 in bribery funds to get her two daughters into college. She is expected to spend five months behind bars. Hodge, who is a former CEO of an investment company, pleaded guilty to paying $850,000 in bribes to get four of his children into prestigious universities. He was sentenced to nine months in prison.