Napa Valley vintner Agustin Huneeus admits guilt in college admissions bribery scandal

May 22, 2019

(PD) - While uncertainty looms over his wine empire, Napa Valley vintner Agustin F. Huneeus admitted guilt Tuesday in a Boston courtroom for his role in the college admissions bribery scandal.

Huneeus, a 53-year-old San Francisco resident, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors recommended a 15-month prison sentence and a $95,000 fine for the owner of Huneeus Vintners, which has wine labels such as Quintessa and Faust and operates Flowers Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg.

Prosecutors alleged Huneeus conspired to pay $300,000 to the mastermind of the admissions scheme, Rick Singer, and other defendants to help his daughter cheat on the SAT college entrance exam. Also, he admitted to bribing officials at the University of Southern California for her admission as a water polo recruit on scholarship. He is among 14 parents who have agreed to plead guilty in the scandal, including actress Felicity Huffman.

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