Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Massachusetts sentenced a Napa Valley winemaker to five months in prison Friday for paying a $100,000 bribe to get his daughter admitted to college in California.
Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, received the longest sentence handed down in the so-called Operation Varsity Blues scandal, which has implicated more than 50 parents, coaches and college officials. He pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.
In addition to the jail time, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani ordered Huneeus to pay a $100,000 fine and serve 500 hours of community service.
Prosecutors said he paid $100,000 to the scheme's ringleader, William "Rick" Singer, to doctor his daughter's SAT score. Huneeus also was prepared to bribe the University of Southern California's athletic department to admit his daughter as a water polo player even though she didn't play the sport.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin O'Connell said in a court filing that of all the parents implicated in the scandal, Huneeus' efforts were "calculated and carefully planned" and he involved his daughter in carrying out the scheme.
"From the outset ... Huneeus wanted to know exactly how the fraud worked, proposed ways to make it more effective, and demanded Singer's attention. He did all this while acknowledging to Singer that what they were doing was wrong, that the scheme could 'blow up in [his] face,'" O'Connell wrote.
Huneeus requested a two-month sentence, saying he's already paid enough for his crime because he lost his company, while prosecutors asked for 15 months. He stepped down as CEO of Huneeus Vintners in May.
Fifteen people, including Singer, have pleaded guilty to charges related to the Operation Varsity Blues scandal.
On Thursday, Talwani sentenced Manhattan lawyer Gordon Caplan to one month in prison, and ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service. Last month, actor Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison and 250 hours of community service in addition to being ordered to pay a $30,000 fine for paying $15,000 to fix her daughter's test scores. Los Angeles businessman Devin Sloane, 53, was sentenced to four months in prison, in addition, completing 500 hours of community service over two years and paying a $95,000 fine for paying $250,000 to get his son into the University of Southern California as a fake water polo recruit.