LOS ANGELES: Actress Felicity Huffman was released from prison Friday (Oct 25) after serving 11 days of a 14-day sentence for her role in a scam in which she paid a bribe to help her daughter gain admission to college.
Huffman, 56, an Academy Award nominee, began serving her sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, on October 15 and had been set to be released on Sunday.
A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons told AFP that the "Desperate Housewives" and "American Crime" star was released early from the low-security facility east of San Francisco under rules that allow inmates to be freed prior to a weekend.
Huffman, who is married to actor William H Macy, was the first of more than 30 parents to be sentenced in an elaborate and wide-ranging scam to help children of the elite secure places in top US colleges.
US District Judge Indira Talwani had sentenced her to serve two weeks behind bars after Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiracy related to her payment of US$15,000 to have someone secretly correct answers on her daughter Sophia's SAT college entrance test.
The scandal erupted in March when the ringleader behind the scam, William "Rick" Singer, admitted running the fraud which ranged from cheating in entrance exams to bribing coaches to help non-athletic students get scholarships.
Authorities say he was paid about US$25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators. He has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities.
Actress Lori Loughlin from 1980s-90s sitcom "Full House" and her husband are among parents who turned to Singer for help and are also facing charges. The pair have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.