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Three More Parents Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal

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CNN reported on Wednesday that three more parents pleaded guilty in federal court to what authorities have labeled the largest collegiate admissions scam that has ever taken place.

Edited by: JV Staff

Gregory Abbott, founder and chairman of a food and beverage packaging company, his wife, Marcia Abbott, and Peter Jan Sartorio, the founder of a frozen burrito company, all went before a federal judge to formally enter their pleas to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to the CNN report.

Prosecutors said evidence included recorded phone calls and emails that show all three communicating directly with the mastermind of the scheme, William Rick Singer, in order to obtain guaranteed admittance for their progeny into the prestigious college of their choice, as was reported by CNN.  

As part of their plea agreements, prosecutors are recommending the Abbotts serve 12 months and a day in prison, while Sartorio would serve between zero and six months.

Prosecutors said the Abbotts paid Singer a total of $125,000 in purported donations to his foundation to inflate their daughter’s scores on both the ACT and SAT exams. Mark Riddell, who has also pled guilty for his role in the scam, corrected her test scores for the ACT in March and then for the SAT subject tests in October, according to the CNN report.  

In court in Boston on Wednesday, the Abbotts said they understood the scores would be corrected but did not know the details of how it would happen. “I didn’t know the system. I didn’t know how things were implemented,” Marcia Abbott said.

In April, the Jewish Voice reported that actress Lori Loughlin and her husband were among the 16 parents who face charges for conspiracy in the infamous college admissions scandal. The couple was indicted on charges of mail fraud and money laundering. If convicted, the pair will face up to 40 years in prison.

As reported by Fox News, the indication of potential prison time is finally sinking in for Loughlin, and panic is setting in. The Queens-born 54-year-old star from “Full House”, “Fuller House” and “When Calls the Heart” was downplaying the consequences of the whole ordeal, but now is terrified of the possibility of spending time behind bars.

“She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by,” a source told E! News. “She refused to accept any jail time and thought the DA was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn’t do any jail time.” Critics, including the sketch artist at the court, have said that Loughlin appeared “arrogant” during the court hearing. “Lori is finally realizing just how serious this is,” the source continued. “She is seeing the light that she will do jail time and is freaking out.”

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were arrested in March for allegedly bribing their daughters’ ways into the University of Southern California (USC) for $500,000 each. The posh couple allegedly mad payments to the ‘charity’ of scam mastermind, William “Rick” Singer, to get their daughters Isabella and Olivia Jade recruited to the USC crew team, even though neither of the girls is a rower. Isabella and Olivia’s statuses at USC are on hold while the school’s investigations into the individual cases is ongoing. Olivia has become a YouTube and Instagram celebrity, but has lost several of her main endorsements in the aftermath of the scandal.

 

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