BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio)— A Massachusetts man was one of two wealthy parents convicted on Friday in the first case of the college admissions scandal to go to trial.
John Wilson, a former Staples executive and equity firm head, was convicted by a jury for his involvement in the scandal, known as "Operation Varsity Blues". Wilson was accused of paying $1 million to get his twin daughters into Harvard and Stanford University and $220,000 to pose his son a water polo recruit for the University of Southern California.
Wilson was convicted on charges of fraud and bribery, along with filing a false tax return. The jury convicted Wilson and one other man, Gamal Abdelaziz, after 10 hours of deliberation. The pair will be sentenced in February.
Nearly 60 people were charged in the original investigation with 33 of them pleading guilty, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. Those that plead guilty have received a range of punishments, from probation to up to nine months in prison.
Lawyers for Wilson and Abdelaziz argued the pair believed their payments were being used as legitimate donations and had no idea they were being used as bribes. They claimed the blame should fall on Rick Singer, the admissions consultant who created the scheme.