A federal appeals court is considering whether test scores are considered “property” under fraud statutes, an issue that came up during a hearing for a former private equity executive who is attempting to withdraw his guilty plea in the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal.

Sidley Austin’s Carter Phillips, who represents Bill McGlashan, told a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that no prior cases have ever deemed test scores or exam reports as “property” under mail or wire fraud statutes. The law wasn’t meant to criminalize commonplace cheating and academic dishonesty, he argued.

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