Agustin Huneeus Jr. released from prison early over coronavirus fears

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


LOS ANGELES — A Napa Valley winemaker who was convicted in the college admissions bribery scandal has been released early from federal prison because of concerns over the coronavirus.

Agustin Huneeus Jr., 54, was freed on March 17, two weeks before the end of his five-month prison term, after U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani found that “extraordinary and compelling reasons” justified the early release, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The judge denied a similar request from Devin Sloane, a Los Angeles business executive whose four-month term ends April 1. Talwani said Sloane did not show that he had exhausted administrative means of obtaining early release and did not demonstrate a “life-threatening condition."

For health privacy reasons, the motions by the men were sealed but the judge cited the coronavirus outbreak and the vintner’s “unique health circumstances” in allowing him to serve out his sentence under home confinement, the Times reported.

Huneeus, whose family owns several wineries, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in the scandal that has embroiled dozens of wealthy families and prestigious universities across the country.

Prosecutors said Huneeus paid $50,000 for a proctor to sit with his daughter and correct answers as she took the SAT exam. He also paid $50,000 to a University of Southern California athletic department official and agreed to pay $200,000 more when his daughter was accepted to the school as a water polo player. He was charged before the payment was made.

Sloane pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy for paying $250,000 to get his son admitted to USC, also as a phony athlete.

Please read our commenting policy
  • No profanity, abuse, racism, hate speech or personal attacks on others.
  • No spam or off-topic posts. Keep the conversation to the theme of the article.
  • No disinformation about current events. Make sure facts are from a reliable source.
  • No name calling. "Orange Menace", "Libtards", etc. are not respectful.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine