Two wealthy ex-executives who bribed their kids to attend elite universities in the United States were found guilty Friday by Boston Federal Court. Personally, I feel it is a tragedy.
“I feel that in this situation everyone loses. The students whose places could be gone. However, I feel sorry to the parents of these children. They have been given such information… You have the ability to deceive yourself. Work hard. It is not enough to work.
After a lengthy deliberation, the jury convicted Gamal Abdelaziz, a former Wynn Resorts executive, and John Wilson (a Lynnfield resident and ex-executive at Staples Inc.). The case revealed that the university allowed unqualified students to become its star athlete by giving them a false description.
“Their behavior is an insult for hardworking students, parents, but today’s verdict proves that even those defendants-powerful persons-cannot be above law,” Massachusetts Acting Attorney Nazareth Nagel Mendel stated to reporters.
Both will be sentenced February.
Brian Kelly, a lawyer, stated that this was not the result Mr. Abdulaziz had hoped for in an email. He promised to appeal.
Wilson’s lawyer didn’t respond to my email asking for comment.
The trial lasted four weeks. Stephen Frank, Assistant U.S. attorney, argued that Wilson, 62 years old paid $220,000 to William “Rick”, Singer in 2014 for his son’s admission to the University of Southern California. A water polo recruit. $1 million in 2018 was used to allow his twin girls to attend Harvard and Stanford University for sports they don’t participate in.
Singh, who is known as the “godfather”, behind the plan now works with government officials and admits that he took his money. It can improve students’ ACT scores, and get them into college to be sports recruits.
Frank concluded his speech by stating that this was a large conspiracy, involving many parents who will let their children attend elite universities at all costs.
He said some of the money paid by the parents was transferred to Singh’s “charity” or the school their children applied to.
Frank called it “bribery and exchange of terms…no mater where the money goes it’s fraudulent.” Children won’t be allowed to enter the country if they don’t have money.
A lawyer for Abdulaziz, Brian Kelly, argued: “It is not illegal to exchange terms unless there is a corrupt intent. There is no evidence that Gamal Abdelaziz has a corrupt intent.”