LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Former USC men’s and women’s water polo coach
Jovan Vavic was found guilty today of taking more than $200,000 in bribes to
help parents get their kids into the university as athletes even though they
were not legitimate student competitors.
After a half day of deliberations, Vavic was found guilty by a federal
jury in Boston of fraud and bribery charges, according to the U.S.
Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
Vavic, 60, accepted the bribes to help parents take advantage of
relaxed admission standards for athletes at USC.
Attorneys for the ex-coach insisted he never took bribes, and was only
trying to raise money for the school from wealthy donors.
Vavic was accused of working with the scheme’s organizer, William
“Rick” Singer, to coordinate students’ admissions to USC as fake athletic
recruits over a four-year period beginning in 2014.
Almost 60 people were charged in the case, including nearly three
dozen parents who subsequently pleaded guilty, including actors Felicity
Huffman and Lori Loughlin and Loughlin’s fashion-designer husband, Mossimo
Giannulli. Parents have so far received punishments ranging from probation to
nine months in prison.
Singer, a Newport Beach consultant at the center of the scheme,
pleaded guilty in March 2019 to charges of racketeering, money laundering,
fraud and obstruction and is awaiting sentencing.
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