BOSTON (CBS SF) — Menlo Park food entrepreneur Peter Jan Sartorio was sentenced to probation and community service Friday for his role in the college admission scandal.
U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani ordered the 53-year-old to serve one year of probation, complete 250 hours of community service and to pay a fine of $9,500. Federal prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Sartario to one month in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $9,500.
Sartorio pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Federal prosecutors said Sartorio conspired with William “Rick” Singer and others to have his daughter’s ACT exam corrected, thereby fraudulently inflating the score.
As part of the scheme, Sartorio took steps to secure extended time for his daughter to take the ACT, which allowed her to take the exam at a test center in West Hollywood that Singer controlled through the center’s corrupt administrator, Igor Dvorskiy.
After Sartorio’s daughter completed the exam on June 10, 2017, without using the extra time she had been allotted, co-conspirator Mark Riddell corrected her answers. As a result of the cheating scheme, Sartorio’s daughter received a score of 27 out of 36 on the exam, which placed her in the 86th percentile.
Sartorio paid Singer $15,000 in cash, structuring the cash withdrawals in three smaller increments over several days to avoid bank reporting requirements.
The Menlo Park businessman become the latest to be sentenced in the case. Bay Area winemaker Agustin Huneeus was given a 5-month jail sentence, a $100,000 fine and 500 hours of community service earlier this month.
Actress Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to participate in the test-cheating scheme, was sentenced to two weeks in prison. Gordon Caplan, a former high-powered attorney, was sentenced to one month in prison for paying $75,000 to falsely boost his daughter’s ACT score.
Meanwhile, Stephen Semprevivo and Devin Sloane, who paid to get their children into prominent universities under the guise that they were recruited athletes, were each sentenced to four months in prison.
More than 50 people — parents, coaches, test administrators and conspirators — were charged in the scandal, in which prosecutors said Singer either facilitated cheating on standardized tests or bribed college coaches to give students an advantage in the admissions process.
Several other Bay Area families have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing including jewelry business owner Marjorie Klapper of Menlo Park, and Bruce and Davina Isackson of Hillsborough.
Of those charged, more than 30 are parents, accused of conspiring with Singer. More than 10 of those parents have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud.
Singer pleaded guilty in March to four charges related to cheating on standardized tests and bribing college coaches and administrators.