Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Former Wynn Resorts Executive Found Guilty of Bribing and Fraud

Former Wynn Resorts executive has been sentenced to a year in prison on Wednesday after being convicted of bribing college officials to get his daughter to study at a top university. Gamal Abdelaziz, 64, was part of the massive college admissions scandal labeled “Varsity Blues.”

Abdelaziz Paid $300,000 to Bribe College Officials

Per details, Abdelaziz paid a total of $300,000 to bribe his daughter’s way into university. Boston’s US District Judge Nathaniel Gordon led the case against the former Wynn executive. Gordon stated that while bribing college officials, he robbed other students of that spot who did not have the advantages that Abdelaziz had.

Abdelaziz asked for mercy and wanted to be sentenced to just 4 months, but Judge Gordon argued that an example had to be set for all parents who would show a lack of morality and common sense. Gordon ordered Abdelaziz, who also goes by the alias Aziz, to perform 400 hours of community service, pay a $250,000-fine and serve 12 months in prison.

Aziz’s lawyer, Brian Kelly, stated that they will be appealing the verdict. Wynn Resorts, the company that is currently developing a multi-billion resort in UAE, did not issue any statement concerning the development, most likely because it has no affiliation with Aziz anymore.

Varsity Blues Is a Massive Scandal Connected to USC

Abdelaziz and John Wilson, who is a private equity financier, were the first defendants to stand trial in the Varsity Blues scandal, which included numerous parents bribing their kids’ way to college. Abdelaziz was convicted of fraud and conspiracy to make bribes, while Wilson was convicted of fraud, conspiracy to make bribes, filing a false tax return, and additional charges on bribe and fraud. His sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 16.

The NY Times reports that Abdelaziz agreed to pay $300,000 to William Singer to get his daughter to USC as a basketball player. He even used another girl’s photo to create a fake athletic profile. Abdelaziz’s lawyers stated that their client is a hard-working man who made one mistake in his life, which is bribing college officials, and that tarnished his reputation and business. That is why they asked for a reduced sentence, which was denied.

So far, 57 people have been charged in connection to the Varsity Blues scandal and 36 pleaded guilty. The actress Lori Loughlin was among them as she was released in December 2020. Loughlin served 2 months for conspiring to get her daughters in the USC rowing team. Felicity Huffman also pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT score and served 11 days in prison. Abdelaziz’s conviction is the harshest. Before him, the largest sentence in the scandal was 9 months.

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