Phillips Nizer LLP | Ilene Jaroslaw comments on <em >Law360</em >'s Biggest White Collar Cases of 2019
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Ilene Jaroslaw comments on Law360's Biggest White Collar Cases of 2019

12/20/2019 |
Dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, the case took aim at a scheme orchestrated by admitted mastermind William "Rick" Singer involving cheating on tests and creating fake athletic achievements. The well-heeled parents who allegedly paid Singer to help their kids get admitted to top schools included former Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP co-chair Gordon Caplan, Hollywood actresses, private equity investors and executives. Some, including Caplan and Singer, have pled guilty, while others are fighting the charges.

The case put the world of higher education on notice and prompted universities to consider whether their own admissions processes, sports programs and donor policies are airtight, said Ilene Jaroslaw of Phillips Nizer LLP.

"If universities are wise, they will find this stuff before the government does," Jaroslaw said. "The smart thing to do in terms of minimizing reputation risk, is to bring in people to do an independent investigation, see if there is a problem and fix it."

The case was one of several that seemed to illustrate the maxim that nobody is above the law.