This story originally appeared on PressDemocrat.com, also part of the Sonoma Media Investments news network.

Agustin Huneeus Jr., president of Napa Valley’s Huneeus Vintners, was one of 50 people charged in the college admissions scandal revealed by federal prosecutors Tuesday.

Huneeus, 53, of San Francisco, oversees the winery operation founded by his father Agustin Sr., who came from his native Chile in the 1970s to make his mark in the U.S. wine industry.

In 2009, the company entered into a partnership with Flowers Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, which is known for its top flight pinot noir. It now owns the winery and is supposed to open the Flowers Vineyard & Winery tasting room on Westside Road this summer at the old VML Winery space.

Prosecutors accused 33 parents — including Huneeus — of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite colleges.

Huneeus faces one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Huneeus participated in the scheme in 2017 and 2018 to benefit to his daughter. Huneeus allegedly conspired to bribe Donna Heinel, senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California, and Jovan Vavic, the water polo coach at USC, to help his daughter gain admission at the Los Angeles university as a water polo recruit, according to the indictment.

Huneeus paid $50,000 to Key Worldwide Foundation, the nonprofit foundation arm for The Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key. The network is at the center of the scandal under its founder William Rick Singer, prosecutors alleged. Singer has pled guilty and cooperated with law enforcement.

In exchange for the contribution, conspirators assisted Huneeus’ daughter when she took her SAT at a West Hollywood test center in March 2018, according to the indictment. The conspirators are believed to be Singer and Mark Riddell, director of college entrance exam preparation at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, based on supporting material in the indictment.

Singer told Huneeus that he controlled the test center and that Riddell would correct his daughter’s mistakes after she completed the test, prosecutors alleged. Singer arranged a psychologist to write to the College Board — which administers the SAT — that the daughter would need extended time to take the exam. The request was granted, according to prosecutors.

Riddell flew out to Los Angeles to proctor the exam for Huneeus’ daughter on March 10, 2018. Riddell told investigators that he assisted Huneeus’ daughter with questions on the test and corrected her answers after she finished.

On April 3, Huneeus wired $50,000 to the foundation, the indictment states.

His daughter scored 1380 out of a possible 1600 on the exam, which placed her in the 96th percentile nationally. But Huneeus complained to Singer about his daughter’s score in an Aug. 30 phone call that was monitored by a court-authorized wiretap and wondered why it wasn’t a higher mark, such as 1550.

Singer told Huneeus that he could not get a higher score for the daughter because the exam would be investigated based on her grades, prosecutors alleged.

Singer then explained the scheme, noting he would take the transcript and SAT score of Huneeus’ daughter to Heinel to help her get admission under the guise of being a USC athletic recruit, according to court documents. Singer worked on a fraudulent water polo profile for the daughter to go along with the submission. For example, Singer could not locate a suitable photo of Huneeus’ daughter playing water polo, so he used someone else.

This story originally appeared on PressDemocrat.com, also part of the Sonoma Media Investments news network.

Huneeus on the call acknowledged that his daughter was not qualified to be a water polo recruit and expressed concern about “this thing blow(ing) up in my face.” Singer replied: “hasn’t in 24 years.”

Huneeus’ daughter received a conditional acceptance from USC on Nov. 7, 2018. Twelve days later, Huneeus sent a $50,000 check made payable to USC Women’s Athletics Board in care of Heinel, prosecutors alleged.

On Nov. 29, Singer called Huneeus and told him that his foundation was being audited by the IRS and asked him to tell federal agents the $50,000 donation was for underserved kids and not for the assistance with his daughter, the indictment states.

“I’m going to say that I’ve been inspired how you’re helping underprivileged kids get into college. Totally got it,” Huneeus said according to prosecutors.

You can reach Staff Writer Bill Swindell at 707-521-5223 or bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @BillSwindell.