DOJ college bribery scam snares longtime casino exec

DOJ college bribery scam snares longtime casino exec

A huge scandal is surfacing across the U.S. that revolves around a large number of high-profile individuals. From Hollywood celebrities to bankers to industry executives, parents have been paying millions of dollars so that their children could go to elite colleges and universities, even if they weren’t qualified. The scandal has hit the casino industry and the fallout could be wide-reaching.

DOJ college bribery scam snares longtime casino execThe U.S. Attorney General’s Office for the District of Massachusetts has revealed that at least 33 parents have used their wealth and position to secure entrances into higher education facilities for their children. Among these is Gamal Aziz, also known as Gamal Abdelaziz, who has held positions at casino giants such as MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. Most recently, he has been the president of Wynn Macau, as well as president and chief operating officer of Wynn Resorts Development, but left the company in 2016. Aziz was fundamental in the launch of the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Massachusetts for Wynn Resorts.

The issue isn’t just that the parents used their wealth to secure the school admission. They are also being charged by the Department of Justice (DOJ) with bribery and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.

According to the scheme, parents would pay “contributions” to a for-profit college counseling and prep organization run by William Singer. That business would then use those contributions to manipulate anything from sports programs to college entrance exams in order for the children to be accepted to schools such as Yale, Stanford, the University of Southern California (USC), Georgetown and more. The DOJ complaint reads, “Between approximately 2011 and February 2019, Singer allegedly conspired with dozens of parents, athletic coaches, a university athletics administrator, and others, to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students to colleges and universities.”

As much as $6.5 million may have been given to the organization. Those contributions were tax-deductible, which means that the parents involved could also face charges of tax evasion.

The DOJ asserts that Aziz, upon learning that his daughter would most likely not be able to get into USC on her own, gave $300,000 through the organization to a gift account controlled by the university. That account is used for the school’s volleyball and basketball programs.