Operation Varsity Blues: Bay Area parent pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Napa Valley vintner pleads guilty in college admissions scandal
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Napa Valley vintner Agustin Huneeus Jr. pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston Tuesday to a charge of fraud conspiracy in a college admissions cheating scheme.

BOSTON (KGO) -- Another Bay Area parent accused in the college admissions cheating scandal has pleaded guilty.

LIST: These Bay Area residents have been charged in alleged college admissions scam

Napa Vinyard Owner Agustin Huneeus pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Huneeus is accused of paying to secure his daughter's admission to USC as a water polo recruit, even though she didn't really play. Her athletic profile included a Photoshopped water polo picture.

MORE: Felicity Huffman, facing possible prison time, pleads guilty in college admissions scandal

Huneeus is also accused of paying for the college entrance exam cheating scheme for his daughter.

Huneeus apologized in a statement Tuesday writing, "With my plea today, I am taking full responsibility for my wrongful actions. My life has been devoted to my family and the people I have worked with and for. I have disappointed them all and brought shame on myself and the people I love. While I wish I could go back and make different and better choices, of course I cannot. What I can do now is to say: I am sorry and I apologize. Beyond my circle of family, friends, and colleagues, I also apologize to students who work hard to get into college on their own merit, as well as to their families. Today's plea was an important step in my effort to take responsibility and accept the consequences for acts that I deeply regret, and I hope that with time and effort I will be able to earn back the respect of the people whose trust I have betrayed."

As part of Huneeus' plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of 15 months in prison and a $95,000 fine. Huneeus' sentencing is set for October 4.

MORE: Lori Loughlin, husband 'didn't realize' actions were illegal, according to report

ABC News has the latest on Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, who are charged in the college admissions scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues.

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