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Parents to plead guilty in college bribery scheme

by Kent Covington
Posted 4/09/19, 10:51 am

Actress Felicity Huffman and a dozen other wealthy parents have agreed to plead guilty in a college admissions cheating scam involving some of the nation’s top universities, federal authorities said Monday. Prosecutors charged Huffman and other parents last month in a scheme to rig standardized test scores and bribe coaches at prestigious schools, including Yale and Georgetown universities. Huffman, 56, will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and other crimes, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The plea agreement indicates prosecutors will seek a sentence of four to 10 months.

Experts have said they expect some parents will avoid prison time if they quickly accept responsibility. Peter Jan Sartorio, a packaged food entrepreneur from California, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to paying $15,000 cash to have someone adjust his daughter’s answers on the ACT exam. Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were charged in the scandal but were not among those who agreed to plead guilty. Prosecutors said parents allegedly paid the founder of Edge College & Career Network, an admissions consulting company in Newport Beach, Calif., a total of $25 million from 2011 through early this year to bribe college coaches and administrators to label their children as recruited athletes to boost their chances of getting into elite schools.

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