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Can Convicted ‘Varsity Blues’ Parents Win on Appeal? (Podcast)

Oct. 26, 2021, 7:56 PM

Operation Varsity Blues was the code name given to the investigation of parents that spent millions of dollars to increase their children’s chances of getting into universities like the University of Southern California. Many of the parents who were charged entered guilty pleas, but the first two to stand trial were convicted earlier this month.

Patricia Hurtado covers the courts for Bloomberg News. She has been following the Varsity Blues cases since the indictments were announced more than two years ago. She says the convicted parents may have a strong case at the appellate level. One of their arguments will likely be that they didn’t receive a fair trial because the man who orchestrated the bribery ring, William Singer, never took the stand.

Hurtado joins our weekly legal news podcast, On The Merits, to talk about the significance of the Varsity Blues case and the issues that are likely to come up on appeal.

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To contact the reporter on this story: David Schultz in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Josh Block at; Cheryl Saenz at

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