Gamal Abdelaziz, a gambling industry veteran of Egyptian-American origin, is currently put on a trial in Boston. The prosecution alleges that Abdelaziz has been involved in the bribery scandal of 2019 where certain reputable colleges were bribed into letting in the children of certain businessmen and celebrities.
Operation Varsity Blues: A Short Backstory
The bribery scheme was revealed in the so-called “Operation Varsity Blues.” It was led by William Rick Singer and was supported by his two firms Key Worldwide Foundation and The Edge College & Career Network. When confronted by the law, Singer cooperated and pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and faces up to 65 years in jail but is yet to be sentenced.
Fifty-seven more people were charged with the most of them pleading guilty. Some of them included famous personas like the actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, who admitted to having provided their kids with a shortcut through bribery.
The incident had gained such popularity that it later became the subject of several media adaptations. In 2019 the TV operator Lifetime released a film by the name “The College Admissions Scandal” that is based on the events. In 2021 Netflix released an original documentary on the scandal, called “Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal.”
Abdelaziz’ Lawyer Claims His Defendant’s Innocence
Abdelaziz is currently believed to have been a client of Singer’s since he had sent the hefty sum of $300,000 to Key Worldwide Foundation in 2018. As a result, Abdelaziz’s daughter got admitted to the University of Southern California as a basketball student, leading to the conclusion that Abdelaziz may have bribed her way into the establishment.
However, the defendant’s lawyer, Brian Kelly, disagrees with this conclusion. Kelly is firm that charity does not equal bribery and that the donation was made on goodwill. The lawyer also questions the prosecution’s choice not to call Singer a witness. Kelly emphasized that the whole case revolves around Singer, and not calling him to court is a suspicious decision.
Abdelaziz is known as a wealthy figure in the world of gambling. The veteran has held positions of great importance at several of the most influential gambling operators, such as MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts. Abdelaziz’s last positions were at Wynn Resorts – he worked as a chief operating officer for Wynn Resorts Development and as a president of Wynn Macau China.
The trial of Abdelaziz is expected to reach a conclusion in the next few weeks.