Three Big Drinks Execs Charged In University Admissions Scandal

US Attorney Lelling announces charges in the scam. Image Twitter, US Attorney MA

Three high-powered drinks executives are among those that have been arrested for paying large sums of money as bribes to get their children into top US universities…

Here’s the deal…

“Agustin Huneeus Jr., president of Napa Valley’s Huneeus Vintners, Marci Palatella, founder and owner of Preservation Distillery in Kentucky, and Gregory Abbott, founder and chairman of New York food and beverage distributor International Dispensing Corp have all been arrested and charged for their involvement in a university admissions scandal in the US,” according to the Drinks Business.

The scandal which was announced by US Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts on March 12, evolves around William “Rick” Singer a Newport Beach, California college admission entrepreneur/criminal (you choose) who conspired with parents, athletic coaches, a university athletics administrator and others to secure placements for students at top universities.

These fine “Institutions of Higher Learning” included Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and Wake Forest University….Places that movie stars and drinks execs were willing to spend big money illicitly, to get their kids into.

Talk about “Breaking Bad” this story was made for a TV drama, which we expect is inevitable…

ACB’s Tom Bobak after being denied admission to Yale

The scandal involved bribing SAT and ACT exam administrators to allow someone else to take tests in the place of the student, or to correct the answers of a student sitting the exams.

University sports coaches and administrators were also bribed to provide places for students under the guise of them being top athletes.  Faces of applicants were photo-shopped onto more athletic bodies…You just can’t make this stuff up.

Well-heeled parents donated huge sums to Singer’s charitable organization, the Key World Foundation which claims to help provide education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. And some of that funding, at least according to the DOJ, was used to pay off the network’s test administrators, coaches and business associates…

Singer, whose clients paid him anywhere between $200,000 and $6.5 million for his service, has been charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice.

And the drinks business executives, Huneeus, Palatella and Abbott have all been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Others charged in the nation’s largest university scandal, include actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, Michelle Janavs, a former executive of a large food manufacturer, and Peter Jan Sartorio founder of food start-up PJ’s Organic.

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