First wave of Operation Varsity Blues college admissions scandal defendants due in federal court

Published: Monday, March 25, 2019 @ 4:25 PM

Dozens Indicted in College Admissions Bribery Case

Fifty people have been charged in connection with a massive college admissions cheating scandal uncovered by the FBI, and the first wave of defendants had their federal court appearances Monday in Boston.

The list of defendants includes celebrities Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman and prestigious college athletic coaches. Authorities in Boston allege parents bribed and cheated to get their children into top universities like Yale and the University of Southern California.

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Criminal defense attorney Peter Elikan outlined to WFXT what could be the next move in the case. He said it's most likely not going to be going to trial.

“They think that they really have recordings. They have documented evidence where very few of the people are going to be able to come forward and say, ‘I didn’t commit any crime. Nothing happened,’” Elikann told WFXT

Related: Lori Loughlin: 3 things to know about actress charged in cheating scandal

Elikann said jail time is certainly on the table, but it will decided on a case-by-case basis.

“The entire game of strategy here is going to be about sentencing,” Elikann said. “What would make sense? What is reasonable and fair in light of these particular offenses?”

Related: Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin sued for $500 billion over college admissions bribery scandal

Since the news of the massive scandal broke, Elikann said it has been a unique case in which so many people feel affected.

“This really has made the blood of the public boil with anger,” Elikann told WFXT. “There’s some kid out there who worked hard, played by the rules, did everything right, knocked themselves out, and they didn’t get the spot because some other kid came in and stole that position. That’s going to affect their life, for the rest of their life.”

Related: Operation Varsity Blues: 5 things to know about the college cheating scandal

Many of the athletic coaches appearing at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse Monday have since stepped down from their positions.

Others, including the celebrity parents, are set to appear in court next week.