The Feds’ endgame for Operation Varsity Blues

Operation Varsity Blues, the sweeping college admissions fraud dominating news headlines is unlike any public bribery and fraud case we’ve ever seen. While both the legal and university communities are abuzz with all the famous people and top-tier institutions involved, something else caught my eye. The case’s unusual structure stands out for the way federal prosecutors used their powers to aggressively go after what would traditionally have been lower level criminals: parents paying bribes. In typical federal cases, nailing the kingpin and bringing down the crime ring would be the end of it. Federal fraud cases typically progress from the bottom up, using smaller fish to implicate bigger fish. But here, the Feds flipped the structure upside down and made some unusual prosecution choices: Instead of working up the crime ladder, they started at the top by “flipping” the leader to cooperate and work their way down.William Rick Singer, the college…

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