Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion-designer husband Mossimo Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty in Boston to federal conspiracy charges for their roles in the college admissions scandal and will
spend just a short time behind bars.
The 55 year old Loughlin and her 56 year old husband Giannulli, are expected to plead
guilty in Boston federal court on Friday May 22nd.
Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and
honest services wire and mail fraud.
Under the terms of Loughlin’s plea agreement, Loughlin has agreed to a sentence of just two
months in prison, a $150,000 fine, two years of supervised release, and 100 hours of community service.
Under the terms of Giannulli’s plea deal, he has agreed to serve five months in prison, a $250,000 fine, two years of supervised release, and 250 hours of community service.
U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said that under the plea agreements, the couple “will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case.”
The charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud could have landed Loughlin and Giannulli in prison for up to 20 years, which is why they changed their not guilty plea to a guilty plea, and accepted the reduced sentences.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton refused to dismiss the charges against the couple and other parents accused of cheating the college admissions process who claimed they were entrapped by federal authorities.
Gorton rejected a defense motion to toss the indictment over allegations of misconduct by FBI agents. The judge also denied a bid to block prosecutors from presenting secretly recorded phone calls for the jury.
Gorton wrote in the ruling that the court is “satisfied that government’s counsel has not lied to or attempted to mislead the court or fabricated evidence.”
In court papers, lawyers for the actress and her husband argued that the couple believed the $500,000 they paid to admitted scheme mastermind William “Rick” Singer’s purported charity, was a legitimate donation to USC’s athletics program — and not a bribe to a rowing coach to ensure their
daughters’ admission to the school as crew recruits.
Loughlin’s attorneys alleged that FBI investigators asked Singer to lie in 2018 by telling parents in recorded calls that their money would be used for donations, not bribes.
Loughlin and Giannulli, who initially pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy, bribery and money-laundering charges, paid $500,000 as part of a scheme with Singer and a USC athletics official to get their two daughters into the university as members of the crew team, even though the daughters have never participated in the sport.
As part of the scheme, the parents sent Singer, a Newport Beach businessman, photos of their daughters on a rowing machine.
Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughters were accepted at the university, but are no longer enrolled.
Singer, who ran a for-profit college counseling business called The Edge College & Career Network, also known as the Key, pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government’s investigation, spilling the beans on other people involved in the scam, in order to avoid any prison time himself.
Dozens of parents and college athletic coaches were implicated in the 52-defendant scandal.
Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty in 2019, and was sentenced to just two week at a low-security federal prison camp in Northern California. She served just 11 days, and was released October 25th 2019. She paid someone to correct the answers on her daughter’s college entrance exam.
Huffman is on one year of supervised release, has paid a 30-thousand dollar fine, and is doing 250 hours of community service.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)