Some of the wealthiest residents in California are fighting federal charges after their alleged involvement with the Newport Beach college admissions company, Edge College & Career Network. The Law Offices of Mark Fredrick understands that every federal felony offense is a very serious issue; but you may not necessarily be convicted or receive a severe punishment. The first of 22 defendants who entered guilty pleas to the elaborate college admissions scam was sentenced, as reported by the USA Today. His punishment, however, did not include imprisonment as the federal prosecutors had requested.

The 41-year-old former head sailing coach at Stanford University pleaded guilty to all counts of racketeering for accepting bribes worth $610,000 from the mastermind of the college admissions scandal. The coach received funds for the university’s sailing program in exchange for recruiting some of the students whose parents paid Edge College & Career Network to help them get accepted into prestigious schools. The judge noted that the coach did not use any of the cash received for his own personal use, and that he did apply all the money toward the university’s sailing program.

The sailing coach admitted to his mistakes and accepted responsibility for his actions. While he may have committed an act of fraud against Stanford, it could not be proven that the payments he received were actually bribes forbidden under the federal commercial bribery statute. There was no evidence presented showing that the university suffered a loss or that the coach nor any of the students gained from his actions. Nevertheless, prosecutors argued for him to serve 13 months in prison with an additional year of probation. The federal judge, however, sentenced him to six months of home confinement and two years of supervised release in addition to a $10,000 fine.

When faced with accusations of a federal offense, your circumstances may improve with a strong defense approach. Our page on white collar charges provides more information on your legal rights when resolving such issues.