Gaming executive Gamal Aziz cleared of wrongdoing in ‘Varsity Blues’ scandal

August 15, 2023
Leer en Español

The federal case involved several parents charged with unethical college admissions practices.

The federal case against gaming industry executive Gamal Aziz (also known as Gamal Abdelaziz) has reached a conclusion, according to a local report in the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Aziz had been accused of “paying $300,000 as a bribe to secure his daughter’s admission to the University of Southern California as a basketball recruit.”

The national scandal, known as “Operation Varsity Blues” involved several parents of prospective college students who were under investigation by the Justice Department regarding “unfair college admissions practices.”

More than 50 guilty pleas followed the investigation, including those by actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

In October 2021, both Aziz and private equity executive John Wilson received convictions from the Massachusetts District Court. Sentencing followed four months later. Wilson and Aziz were sentenced to 15 months and 12 months in prison respectively. However, both were able to file appeals and remain free until those were resolved.

Aziz and Wilson filed appeals in Boston through the US Circuit Court of Appeals. The court’s three-judge panel ruled to throw out all of Aziz’s convictions and all of Wilson’s, except for a charge against Wilson for “filing a false tax return.”

Aziz told the Review Journal that he was relieved the case was over and did not regret the decision to file an appeal.

He commented, “It’s completely and utterly over. It was really worth the fight. Normally, these kinds of cases take maybe a year or two years. But because of Covid, it lasted for a longer time.

“There’s never been a single minute when I did not decide to fight for justice and the truth, despite the fact that many others had decided to plead guilty. The great majority of parents did, but I felt that would be a betrayal of justice and my integrity, so I decided to fight it and now I feel I’ve been vindicated.”


Product Spotlight

Bragg Gaming Group

Bragg Gaming Group is a global content-driven iGaming technology provider, serving online and land-based gaming operators with its proprietary and exclusive content and cutting-edge technology.

John Connelly - Interblock preparing to launch online by the end of year

John Connelly, the Global CEO of Interblock, joins the Huddle to talk about:
- The company's conversion to the online space
- The performance of ETGs
- Interblock's new philanthropic efforts
- The trend of companies going private
- And more!

Michael Hershman - Dispelling casino 'myths:' New York needs to lose fear of the unknown

Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, joins Tim Poole on the Huddle to put forward his case that the Freedom Plaza is the way to go for one of New York's casino licences. He fields a variety of questions - not shying away from any of them - on why 'myths' about casinos and a fear of the unknown should be dispelled, as well as acknowledging the strength of rival bids and discussing opposition to the project.

As the Tribal gaming sector congregates once more in the Golden State, is it too cliché of me to suggest we are heading for a golden era of Tribal gaming? With the industry set to meet at the Indian Gaming Association t...

From The Top: Will youth be served by Sports Betting?
Two recent interviews in our Huddle podcast revealed to Las Vegas correspondent Brian Joseph just how young sports betting entrepreneurs are becoming.
The Global Gaming Awards: Rewarding Excellence
The 10th edition of the Global Gaming Awards took place in Las Vegas last year. Gaming America looks back... and ahead to this year's.
Preview: Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention
Gaming America looks ahead to the 2024 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention and what attendees can expect when they arrive at the Anaheim Convention Centre.
888 and the US Market: A cautionary tale
Gaming America explores the risk of resting on your laurels and the challenge of remaining relevant in a rapidly expanding market.