Former NU parent Elizabeth Henriquez sentenced to seven months


Via Mercury News Youtube

Manuel and Elizabeth Henriquez. Elizabeth Henriquez received a seven month prison sentence Tuesday, with Manuel set to be sentenced next week.

Andrea Bian and Gabby Birenbaum

Former Northwestern parent Elizabeth Henriquez was sentenced to seven months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $200,000 Tuesday for her participation in the college admissions scheme.

Henriquez and her husband, Manuel, of Atherton, California, spent $400,000 in bribes to Georgetown University’s tennis coach to get their older daughter into the school as a false tennis recruit. They additionally conspired with the scheme’s mastermind, Newport Beach admissions consultant Rick Singer, to hire fake proctors to administer the SAT and ACT for both daughters, the younger of which attended Northwestern.

University spokesman Bob Rowley confirmed in October that the younger daughter is no longer enrolled at Northwestern.

In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said Henriquez and her husband had cheated on more standardized college entrance exams than any other co-conspirator in the case. They stated that the Henriquezes had rigged exams a total of five times: twice for their oldest daughter and three times for their youngest. Rigging both daughters’ exams cost the Henriquezes almost $50,000, which they paid to Singer.

[Read more: Documents show how parents helped their child cheat to get into Northwestern]

The prosecution in Boston had requested a 26-month sentence, the longest one requested out of all participants in the case to date. Her seven-month sentence was among the longer sentences, but former Pimco CEO Douglas Hodge has received the longest sentence — nine months — thus far.

Manuel Henriquez, for whom prosecutors have sought an 18-month prison term, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8.

The coronavirus pandemic affected the hearing, which was conducted over video conferencing. Henriquez’s lead defense attorney proposed she serve a five-month sentence at home and through probation due to the virus, citing a health condition that could put her at risk, while prosecutors argued her crimes were serious enough to mandate imprisonment. Henriquez’s health condition was not disclosed in redacted court filings, according to Bloomberg News.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said he will allow Henriquez to delay the start of her sentence until at least June 30, under the premise that the coronavirus pandemic will subside by that time.

The Henriquezes had initially pleaded not guilty, but reversed their pleas in October after federal prosecutors threatened to add additional charges for parents who maintained their innocence. Parents who are still pleading not guilty, including actress Lori Loughlin, are scheduled to go to trial later in the year.

While federal prosecutors deemed Henriquez one of the “most culpable” parents as a participant in both the test-rigging and coach-bribing aspects of the scheme, Henriquez’s defense attorneys sought to portray her as a New England native uncomfortable with the demands of Silicon Valley society, whose love for her children made her an easy victim for Singer’s scheme.

As a “lonely, insecure, over-protective stay-at-home mother with access to money,” Henriquez’s lead attorney Aaron Katz wrote in court filings, she was easily swindled by Singer’s offer.

“A large, ostensibly legitimate donation to the Georgetown tennis program seemed to be a small price for (her daughter’s) happiness,” he wrote.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @andreabian_

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @birenbomb