Aziz was previously found guilty of bribery and fraud after allegedly paying $300,000 to have his daughter enter a top university. The so-called Varsity Blues scandal had 57 people charged with various crimes, with many pleading guilty. However, Aziz’s perseverance and experienced legal team made him one of the few to overturn his charges.
The Wynn Executive Faced Serious Charges
Gamal Aziz, the former president of Wynn Macau China, was one of the 57 individuals charged in the high-profile college admissions scandal, which made headlines in 2019. Aziz faced charges of fraud and conspiracy to make bribes, allegedly paying $300,000 to have his daughter admitted to the University of Southern California as a volleyball recruit, despite her not being a competitive athlete.
Boston’s US District Judge Nathaniel Gordon led the case against the former Wynn executive, ultimately sentencing Aziz to a year in prison, 400 hours of community service, and a $250,000 fine. Despite many other Varsity Blues defendants pleading guilty, Aziz’s legal team stated they would appeal the verdict, protracting the legal battle.
Varsity Blues Affected More than Just the Defendants
According to the most recent developments, the gambling industry veteran’s perseverance has paid off, as his appeal was successful, and the charges against him were overturned. Aziz’s lawyers successfully argued that the defendant was a victim of fraud and was unaware his “donations” would be used to bribe university officials.
The court’s decision can be instrumental for the few individuals still engaged in legal disputes regarding the Varsity Blues scandal. Winning the appeal will undoubtedly remove a substantial burden from Aziz’s shoulders, reaffirming he still possesses the tenacity that allowed him to claim leadership positions with several high-profile operators.
Mr. Abdelaziz has maintained his absolute innocence from day one and is enormously grateful that the appeals court has reversed his unfair conviction.
Brian Kelly, lawyer of Gamal Aziz
Regardless of Aziz’s involvement in the case, the fallout of the Varsity Blues scandal continues to resonate across the US college admissions system. USC, where Aziz’s daughter was admitted, has introduced several reforms, including a new admissions committee and increased transparency in the admissions process. Many other colleges have implemented similar measures, including increasing financial aid for low-income students.
The overturning of Gamal Aziz’s charges will likely allow the few other active cases to appeal on similar grounds, blunting Varsity Blues’ substantial legal fallout. However, the scandal remains a poignant reminder of the ongoing issues with the US college admissions system and the need for continued reforms to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to succeed.