College Admissions Scandal Creates Many Questions for Those Implicated
Fifty people, so far, have been indicted in what U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has described as “the largest college admission scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.” Those charged include high-profile actresses, a fashion designer, business leaders, and other wealthy parents; as well as nine athletic coaches from such prominent universities as Yale, Georgetown, USC, and UCLA. The alleged “scam” involved bribing coaches, falsifying SAT and ACT scores, questionable claims of learning disabilities, and the creation of fake athletic resumes. In short, the allegation is that wealthy parents were presented with and took advantage of various tactics to help ensure their children would gain admission into elite colleges across the country.
While many news articles are already labeling all those involved as guilty, it’s important to remember that anyone who is accused of a crime in the United States is in fact innocent until a court of law determines they’re guilty. The defendants in this case are facing serious charges, including conspiracy to commit racketeering; conspiracy to commit money laundering; conspiracy to defraud the United States; obstruction of justice; conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud; and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. These are all very serious matters that will take serious legal prowess to maneuver through. Not all individuals are facing the same charges, so not all defense strategies will be the same.
Unfortunately, in today’s media age, accusations are often immediately viewed as convictions, and reputations often permanently suffer as a result. To make matters even more difficult, the attorneys for the Department of Justice are very experienced and have virtually no financial constraints when building cases against each of the individuals who have been accused. And while many reputations have already sustained significant damage, convictions will have an even greater impact on an accused individual’s future. “A case of this nature is devastating on two fronts—the criminal exposure and the reputational damage,” said Alan Jackson, partner at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP. Jackson continued, “Clients caught up in this indictment will need an aggressive lawyer who knows how prosecutors think and can push back against government with a robust and effective defense. That sort of counter-narrative is what we do best here at WJQ.”
When going up against the United States government, an experienced lawyer often isn’t enough. Only the absolute best defense attorneys are even able to level the playing field against government attorneys. In fact, not every law firm has the experience, knowledge, or resources to mount a successful defense against such a powerful adversary.
The lawyers at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP have a proven track record of success representing defendants in both federal and state courts. If you are currently facing charges, our law firm can help. To learn more about how our defense attorneys can represent your best interests, please call (213) 688-0460.