Two wealthy fathers who were the first to face trial in the U.S. college admissions scandal were convicted on Friday.
A federal jury in Boston found former casino executive Gamal Aziz and private equity founder John Wilson guilty of trying to buy their children's way into elite universities as phony athletic recruits.
The two are among 57 people charged over a scheme in which wealthy parents conspired with an admissions consultant to secure places for their children.
Acting U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Mendell said the parents must now face the consequences.
“John Wilson and Gamal Abdelaziz used fraud and bribery to get what they wanted. What they did was an affront to hard-working students and parents but the verdict today proves that even these defendants, powerful and privileged people, are not above the law.”
Prosecutors alleged Aziz paid $300,000 in 2018 to get his daughter into the University of Southern California as a basketball recruit, while Wilson offered $220,000 in 2014 for his son to enter the same university as a water polo recruit.
Four years later, Wilson paid another $1 million to try to secure spots for his twin daughters at Stanford and Harvard.
Lawyers for the pair argued they believed their payments were legitimate donations and laid the blame with the admissions consultant at the center of the scheme, Rick Singer.
Both now face the prospect of years in prison and are expected to appeal.
The college admission bribery scandal exposed executives and celebrities including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.