The college admissions scandal has led to dozens of wealthy and influential parents being charged for using bribery and other unfair means to advance their child's education. The University of Southern California has gotten a lot of attention in this scandal as some of the biggest players in this scheme were trying to get their children into this particular university. Now lawyers are saying that the university isn't really the victim that it has been portrayed as, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In some cases, The University of Southern California has been portrayed as the victim in this whole ordeal with the admissions office being tricked into accepting students that did not necessarily deserve it. Now lawyers are questioning the role that donations, even legitimate ones, have in a student being accepted into the university.
Martin G. Weinberg, a lawyer representing real-estate investor Robert Zangrillo in this scandal, pointed out that The University of Southern California could not realistically be a victim "when so many people similarly situated to Mr. Zangrillo, donors, people that know donors, people that know past donors, people who might donate in the future, are admitted."
Zangrillo has been accused of paying $250,000 in bribery funds to get his daughter accepted into the university.
Even though an affidavit by USC admissions dean Timothy Brunold states that donations have no impact upon which students are accepted and which aren't, not everyone is quick to believe that that process is as fair as it is described.Judge M. Page Kelley said "I don't for a second believe" the affidavit. She went on to tell Weinberg, "I don't think you have much of an uphill battle convincing a jury that if you give donations to a school, you would improve your chances of getting in."
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Lori Loughlin and her designer husband Mossimo Giannulli face accusations similar to that of Zangrillo. They allegedly paid $500,000 to get their two daughters into The University of Southern California by falsely presenting them as crew recruits. The primary way that their legal team could prove their innocence is if they can convince a jury that the $500,000 was a legitimate donation and nothing more.
The couple faces a stack of charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, honest services fraud, money laundering, and federal programs bribery. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges and face decades in jail if they are in fact convicted.