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Private Equity Chief Appeals ‘Varsity Blues’ Conviction

  • John B. Wilson went on trial instead of reaching a plea deal
  • He was found guilty in trial he calls ‘fundamentally unfair’
John B. Wilson leaves federal court in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 8, 2021.

John B. Wilson leaves federal court in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 8, 2021.

Photographer:  Erin Clark/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

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A private equity investor convicted of trying to bribe his kids’ way into elite colleges is trying to have his guilty verdict tossed.

John B. Wilson, chief executive officer of Hyannis Port Capital, said in an appeals brief filed Monday in Boston that what he did should not have been considered bribery and that his trial was “fundamentally unfair” because prosecutors and the judge didn’t know where to draw the line between legitimate gifts to schools and criminal bribes.