California executive avoids jail in college cheating scheme


FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2015, file photo, students walk on the University of California, Los Angeles campus. Xiaoning Sui, 48, of Surrey, British Columbia, is accused of paying $400,000 to get her son into the University of California, Los Angeles, as a fake soccer recruit. She has become the 52nd person charged in a sweeping college admissions bribery scheme, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Boston’s federal court. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

BOSTON (AP) – The owner of a California frozen foods company has avoided jail for his role in a widespread college admissions scandal.

Fifty-four-year-old Peter Jan Sartorio, of Menlo Park, California, was sentenced Friday to a year of probation after pleading guilty in May to a single count of fraud and conspiracy. He is the eighth parent to be sentenced in the scheme.

Authorities say Sartorio paid $15,000 to rig his daughter’s ACT exam in 2017. He kept the arrangement hidden from his daughter.

Prosecutors had requested a month in prison and a fine of $9,500. Sartorio’s lawyers pushed for probation and a fine. They said he deserved leniency because he was the first parent to plead guilty.

Sartorio owns Elena’s Food Specialties, a San Francisco company that makes frozen natural food products.

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