(BOSTON) — A guilty verdict was reached Friday afternoon in the trial of John Wilson and Gamal Abdelaziz, two wealthy fathers charged with paying bribes to secure prestigious college spots for their kids under false pretenses.
Wilson and Abdelaziz were the first defendants of about five dozen charged in the sweeping Operation Varsity Blues admissions scheme to stand trial in Boston.
They pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud in the case.
The jury’s verdict came down one day after entering deliberations.
Abdelaziz, a former casino executive from Las Vegas, allegedly paid $300,000 to get his daughter into the University of Southern California as a basketball recruit even though she did not make her high school varsity team.
Wilson, a former Staples executive, allegedly paid $220,000 to have his son designated as a USC water polo recruit and an additional $1 million to get his twin daughters into Harvard and Stanford.
Abdelaziz will be sentenced Feb. 16 and Wilson on Feb. 17.
Assistant US Attorney Stephen Frank told jurors during closing arguments: “These parents were not willing to take no for an answer and to get to yes they crossed a line. In crossing that line, they broke the law.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.