Actress, Lori Loughlin, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in the nationwide college admissions scandal, after a year defending their innocence.
The two of them will each plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud as part of separate plea agreements with federal prosecutors.
Last year, Loughlin and Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 to Rick Singer, the mastermind of the massive admissions scandal, to get their two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, into the University of Southern California as fake crew recruits. This will make the couple the 33rd and 34th of the 53 accused to plead guilty. The scandal has rocked the college world, with several big names attached to it beyond just Loughlin and Giannulli, including actress, Felicity Huffman.
If the judge accepts the offer, Loughlin will spend two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine, serve two years of supervised release, and undergo 100 hours of community service. Gianulli would serve five months in prison, pay $250,000, two years of supervised release, and 250 hours of community service.
The plea agreement would also mean neither would plead guilty to charges of bribery and money laundering, which would have lengthened their prison sentences.
As part of the scheme, the couple are alleged to have sent fake crew recruiting profiles to Singer, including made-up credentials, medals, and even photos of one of their daughters on a rowing machine.
Giullani wrote in a 2017 email to his accountant:
“Good news my daughter… is in (U)SC … bad is I had to work the system.”
When the scandal first broke out, the couple’s lawyers mounted a vigorous defense, saying that they thought they were making “legitimate donations” to USC, instead of bribing officials like they were accused of doing.
Their pleading guilty will leave just 12 parents who are fighting the accusations.
The scandal had to take a different route after the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing hearings of defendants to happen digitally over Zoom.
In September, Huffman, who formerly starred in Desperate Housewives, was sentenced to two weeks in prison for paying Singer $15,000 to have one of his associates correct answers on her daughter’s SAT exam. She was released after 11 days.
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