Two wealthy parents were found guilty Friday (8/10) of trying to pave the way for their children to university through recruitment in athletics. This is the first case to be tried in a college admissions bribery scandal involving a number of prestigious universities across America.
Gamal Abdelaziz, a former casino executive, and John Wilson, a former Staples Inc. executive, were found guilty after a jury of 10 hours of deliberation, in a case that exposed a scheme to get unfit students into college by falsely portraying their child as a star. athlete.
Abdelaziz, originally from Las Vegas, allegedly paid $300,000 to enroll his daughter into the University of Southern California as a recruit for the basketball team, even though he failed to even make it onto his high school basketball team.
Wilson, who heads a private equity firm in Massachusetts, is accused of paying $220,000 to have his son drafted into the University of Southern California’s water polo team. He then also gave an additional one million dollars to pave the way for his twin daughters to enter Harvard and Stanford.
Sentences against both will be handed down in February.
The two are among nearly 60 people charged in an investigation dubbed by authorities as “Operation Varsity Blues,” which has also ensnared athletic trainers at prestigious universities such as Georgetown and Yale.
Some other parents were accused of giving huge bribes so that someone could take their child’s place during the entrance exam. (em / jm)