(Reuters) – Defense lawyers representing parents facing conspiracy, fraud and money-laundering charges in the ‘Varsity Blues’ college admissions scandal sent a remarkable letter Tuesday to U.S. District Judge Patti Saris of Boston, chief judge of the district where the parents will be tried.

Twenty-six lawyers, including some of the biggest names in the Boston defense bar and more than a dozen former federal prosecutors, claimed prosecutors in the college admissions case had manipulated the charging process to assure that all of their clients’ cases would be assigned to U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton rather than distributed to randomly-assigned judges in the Boston courthouse. “Simply put,” the letter said, “the prosecutors’…

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