Wealthy NYC parents plead guilty in college admissions scandal, likely face year in jail each
Gregory Abbott, center, arrives at federal court Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Boston, where he is scheduled to plead guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
Manhattan millionaires Gregory and Marcia Abbott entered guilty pleas in a Boston courtroom Wednesday for their roles in the college admissions bribery scandal.
The beverage-packaging executive and his wife, who have residences on Fifth Ave. and in Aspen, paid a whopping $125,000 to have someone correct answers and wildly inflate their daughters ACT and SAT test scores last year, prosecutors said.
The government is asking that the privileged parents each receive a sentence of a year and a day in prison, a $55,000 fine and a year of supervised release.
The moneyed mom and dad declined to comment as they left the courthouse Wednesday, according to USA Today.
Gregory and Marcia Abbott declined to comment leaving Boston federal courthouses backdoor just now after pleading guilty to paying $125K to have someone change their daughters ACT and SAT subject scores. Gregory Abbott is the one shaking his head. His wife is walking in /pJ5p4E7yKH
Gregory Abbott, 69, and Marcia, 59, are due to be sentenced together on Oct. 8.
Prosecutors previously said Marcia Abbott was recorded on a Sept. 4 call asking convicted scam orchestrator William (Rick) Singer if his people could step in and help her daughter get a better score on the SAT after she took it once on her own.
Shes convinced that she bombed the lit because she was too tired, Abbott said, according to prosecutors.
(Duke University) told us they didnt want anything below a 750, she said. Even if she gets like a 740, 730 on her math, she still needs to get higher.
In the end, the test-correcting scheme lifted the daughters ACT score from 23 to 35, placing her in the top 1% of test-takers, officials said.
The daughters second SAT taken with the proctor fixing her answers posted a perfect 800 on math and a 710 on the literature subject test, authorities said.
Before striking their plea deals, the Abbotts each faced the possibility of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.
Marcia Abbott arrives at federal court Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Boston, where she is scheduled to plead guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
The New York parents entered their pleas Wednesday along with California packaged-food entrepreneur Peter Jan Sartorio.
Prosecutros previously said Sartorio paid $15,000 to rig his daughters ACT scores in 2017.
Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are the most famous faces among the 32 parents charged in the scam.
A tearful Huffman pleaded guilty earlier this month after prosecutors said she paid $15,000 to rig her oldest daughters SAT score in 2017.
Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli have pleaded not guilty and are fighting claims they paid at total of $500,000 to have their two daughters admitted to USC as fake rowing recruits.
Dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, the overall cheating scandal is said to be the largest ever prosecuted by federal authorities.
Officials claim the 32 parents conspired with Singer, several test professionals and corrupt coaches to get their kids into elite universities such as Yale, Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown through so-called side door schemes.