Big Apple beverage bigwig Gregory Abbott and his wife on Wednesday admitted to paying $125,000 to doctor their daughter’s college entrance scores as part of the nationwide college admissions cheating scandal — and now face time behind bars.
Abbott, 68, the founder of food and drink distribution company International Dispensing Corp., and Marcia Abbott, 59, pleaded guilty in Boston federal court on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Prosecutors are recommending the couple — who have homes in Manhattan and Aspen, Colorado — serve 12 months and one day in the slammer as part of a plea deal, according to court documents. They also face a $55,000 fine.
After their arrest in March, the Abbotts’ blunt-smoking rapper son Malcolm infamously defended his parents in an interview with The Post — while promoting his latest CD.
“They’re blowing this whole thing out of proportion,” said Malcolm Abbott outside the family’s Fifth Avenue home in March. “I believe everyone has a right to go to college.”
He has since been selling shirts branded with “Free Education” on his Instagram page.
The parents were accused of paying admitted mastermind William “Rick” Singer $125,000 to boost their daughter’s ACT and SAT scores.
Singer paid off a crooked test proctor to correct wrong answers on the girl’s exams, and she ultimately received a perfect 800 on the SAT math exam and 710 on the literature test. On the ACT, she received 35 out of 36, according to court filings.
The couple told Judge Indira Talwani they knew they were paying to have their daughter’s test scores corrected but didn’t know the specifics of how their money was distributed, 7 News Boston reported.
The guilty plea comes a day after New York City lawyer Gordon Caplan also admitted to paying $75,000 to doctor his daughter’s ACT exam and told media outside court he was “deeply ashamed” of his actions.
Earlier this month, “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman also pleaded guilty to her role in the scam, breaking down in court while also copping to rigging her eldest daughter’s SAT score.
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