Ex-Staples executive John Wilson was sentenced on Friday in relation to the “Varsity Blues” college admissions cheating scandal, ABC News reported.
Sixty-four-year-old Wilson received his sentence in federal court in Boston, ABC News reported. His sentence includes one year of probation, during which the initial six months must be served in home detention. Additionally, he is mandated to complete 250 hours of community service and fulfill financial obligations, including a $75,000 fine and restitution in the amount of $88,546.
He was originally found guilty in 2021 as part of the initial trial connected to the scheme. Subsequently, he received a 15-month prison sentence but successfully appealed, resulting in most of the charges being dropped, the outlet noted.
The Friday sentencing pertains specifically to the charge of filing a false tax return. Prosecutors argued that Wilson had inaccurately claimed payments made to facilitate his son’s admission to the University of Southern California as deductible business expenses and charitable contributions, ABC News reported.
Gamal Abdelaziz, a former casino executive, and John Wilson, a former Staples executive, were found guilty after about 10 hours of deliberations in the case that exposed a scheme to get undeserving applicants into college by falsely portraying them as star athletes. pic.twitter.com/PWYunO4NwC
— Insider News (@InsiderNewsKe) October 8, 2021
Wilson had reportedly entered into an agreement in 2013 to give $220,000 to William “Rick” Singer for his son’s admission to the University under the guise of a “water polo recruit,” according to the outlet. Wilson’s legal representatives contended that the payment constituted a genuine donation and asserted that his case possessed a “fundamentally different” nature compared to other individuals implicated in the Varsity Blues scandal. (RELATED: Shakira Ordered To Stand Trial For Tax Fraud In Spain)
“It was a terrible injustice to tarnish the Wilson family with the Varsity Blues accusations, and it is finally over,” Wilson’s lawyer, Michael Kendall of White & Case LLP, said in a statement. “John Wilson did not commit fraud, he did not bribe any universities, and he did not partake in a grand conspiracy. His children were highly successful students who were qualified on their own merits.”
“Today’s sentencing decision to levy a fine of $75,000 with a non-custodial probationary period of 12 months shows the tax count was more of a technical charge than anything else,” Kendall further explained. “John was and is a very responsible taxpayer. In fact, not only did he pay 46% of his taxable income in federal income taxes that year, he also substantially overpaid his total taxes by more than $100,000.”