Federal Court Overturns Two Convictions for College Bribery

Cases are thrown out due to a judge mislabeling admissions as property.

A First Circuit Court of Appeals panel voted to overturn the fraud convictions of two wealthy fathers involved in a college bribery scheme. The conspiracy was investigated over a number of years by the Department of Justice under the code name “Operation Varsity Blues,” which was completed in 2019 with a massive sweep of indictments. More than 50 parents have been found guilty of fraud thus far, having paid millions of dollars to sway top colleges into accepting their children. 

The cases for these two parents, private equity executive John Wilson and former casino executive Gamal Abdelaziz, were overturned not because they did not commit these acts, but because the judge mishandled their cases by telling jurors that college admissions legally constituted as property. 

“Nothing in this opinion should be taken as approval of the defendants’ conduct in seeking college admission for their children,” Circuit Judge Sandra Lynch wrote. “We do not say the defendants’ conduct is at all desirable.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Judge Lynch as she continues to serve the First Circuit Court of Appeals with senior status.
  • For the judges in the federal appellate courts as they hear cases and consider decisions from lower courts.

Sources: Reuters, NY Post


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