BOSTON – Two wealthy parents were convicted on Friday of buying their children’s way to school because they were recruited athletically to stand trial in a college admissions fraud scandal.
Jamal Abdulaziz, a former casino executive, and John Wilson, a former Staples Inc. executive, were found guilty after nearly 10 hours of deliberation in the case, which misrepresented unwanted applicants as star athletes and sent them to college. Exposed admission scheme.
Abdulaziz of Las Vegas was accused of paying his daughter ڈالر 300,000 to recruit him for basketball at the University of Southern California, even though he did not include her in his high school university team. Wilson, who heads a Massachusetts private equity firm, was accused of paying his son ڈالر 220,000 to nominate him for USC Water Polo Recruitment and to buy extra for his twin daughters at Harvard and Stanford. Paid لاکھ 1 million.
He will be sentenced in February.
He is among about 60 people who have been interrogated by authorities under the name “Operation Varsity Blues”, which has also implicated athletic coaches in prestigious schools such as Georgetown and Yale. Other parents were accused of cheating people in their children’s entrance exams by paying huge bribes.
Thirty-three parents have pleaded guilty, including TV actor Felicity Huffman and Lori Lفflin and Lفflin’s fashion designer husband, Mosomo Giannoli. The parents have so far been sentenced to nine months from probation. All told, about four dozen people have pleaded guilty.
Abdul Aziz and Wilson’s lawyers argued that they thought the payments were legitimate donations and pointed to Rick Singer, an admission consultant at the center of the scheme. The parents insisted that they had no idea the singer was using their money as a bribe and was falsifying or exaggerating athletic credentials on behalf of their children.
At the heart of the case was a series of secretly recorded phone calls between Singer and his parents, which prosecutors said involved Abdul Aziz and Wilson. The FBI tapped Singer’s calls and then assured the admissions consultant that it would begin cooperating with investigators in 2018 to provide a lenient sentence. The singer has pleaded guilty to several charges, including money laundering, and is yet to be convicted.
In a call, Wilson asked the singer which sport would be “best” for his twin daughters. The singer replied that it “doesn’t matter” and that he would “make them sailors or something” because Wilson lives on Cape Cod.
Wilson asked with a laugh: “Is there anything special about the two? What if you have twins?”
In another call, the singer told Abdulaziz that Donna Hannell, a former senior associate athletic director at USC, told him that Abdulaziz’s daughter’s fake athletic profile was so good that she wanted him to move on. The player who is a woman. “
“I love it,” Abdul Aziz replied.
The defense tried to make a hole in the government’s case by asking why they did not call Singer to the stand. Abdul Aziz and Wilson’s lawyers presented Singer as a sincere man who manipulated the parents and assured them that their so-called side door scheme was legitimate and supported by the schools.
Abdul Aziz’s lawyer, Brian Kelly, told the judges during his closing argument, “He never agreed with Rick Singer to bribe anyone at USC, and he never agreed with Rick Singer to cheat USC. Not satisfied. “
Both Wilson and Abdulaziz were convicted of fraud and conspiracy to commit bribery. Wilson was also convicted of additional charges of bribery, wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
The widespread varsity blues case has been running out of Boston since authorities began investigating the scheme years ago, at the behest of an executive targeted in a securities fraud investigation.
Hannell and two coaches سابق former USC water polo coach Joan Vavich and former Wake Forest University women’s volleyball coach William Ferguson مقرر are scheduled to stand trial in November. Three other parents are expected to face the judges in January.