- A former Wynn executive and private equity financier were found guilty in the college admissions scandal.
- They’re the first parents to go to trial in Operation Varsity Blues.
- Prosecutors said they paid thousands of dollars to have their children admitted into elite universities as fake athletic recruits.
The first two parents to go to trial in the college admissions scandal were found guilty on Friday of participating in illegal schemes to have their children admitted into elite universities.
Former Wynn executive Gamal Abdelaziz and private equity financier John Wilson were found guilty after about 10 hours of jury deliberation, according to the Associated Press.
Wilson was accused of paying $220,000 to have his son admitted to the University of Southern California as a purported water polo recruit and an additional $1 million to have his twin daughters admitted to Harvard University and Stanford University. Abdelaziz was accused of paying $300,000 to get his daughter into USC as a basketball recruit.
Prosecutors said in charging documents that Wilson’s son was falsely described as a recruit who would be the “fastest player” on the team.
In one call with the scandal’s ringleader, William “Rick” Singer, Wilson asked if there was a “two-for-one special” he could use for his twins, court filings show.
Charging documents show Abdelaziz, meanwhile, said “I love it” upon hearing Singer’s plan to create a fake athletic profile for his daughter to pose as a basketball recruit.
Abdelaziz and Wilson are the first parents to go to trial in the college admissions scandal, and three others are set to face trial next year.
More than 50 parents have been charged in the scheme, and most of them have pleaded guilty.
The scandal was two-pronged: While some parents paid to have their children admitted to elite schools as fake athletic recruits, others paid to have the children’s ACT and SAT answers falsified, prosecutors say.
Several college officials, coaches, and exam administrators have also been charged in the scheme.
Singer has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with investigators.