Two fathers were found guilty in a Boston federal court on Friday for their roles in the college admissions scandal. John Wilson and Gamal Abdelaziz were the first of nearly 60 people charged in the case to go on trial.
Wilson, an executive of a private equity firm in Massachusetts, and Abdelaziz, a former executive of a Las Vegas resort, were convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Wilson was also convicted of additional charges, including conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery and filing a false tax return.
The U.S. Attorney of Massachusetts alleged Wilson paid $200,000 to get his son into USC as a water polo recruit in 2013. He then wrote the payment off as a charity donation from his business account. A wiretap showed that Wilson paid $500,000 twice - once to get one daughter into Harvard and the other to get his second daughter into Stanford as fake recruits. Their applications were never submitted, as the scheme was discovered around the same time.
Meanwhile, Abdelaziz was accused of paying $300,000 to designate his daughter as a USC basketball team recruit in order to get her admitted to the university. Although she was admitted in 2017, she never played for the team.
The two were the first to go on trial in the sprawling case. Nearly 60 people have been charged for their hand in the scandal. The remaining coaches and administrators in the case are scheduled to go on trial on November 16. Another group of parents will go on trial on January 13, 2022.
Abdelaziz is scheduled to be sentenced on February 16, and Wilson will be sentenced the following day. The most serious charges could carry up to 20 years in prison.
However, others charged in the case, including actressand Hot Pockets heiress , only spent a few months behind bars.
Pat Milton contributed reporting.
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