Actress Lori Loughlin And Husband Mossimo Giannulli Plead Guilty In College Admissions Scandal
According to court papers filed Thursday, Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded guilty and will serve prison time as part of a plea deal in connection with the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal.
The couple pleaded guilty to “conspiracy charges” after they tried to secure the fraudulent admission of their two children, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, to the University of Southern California (USC) crew team, according to The Huffington Post and a Department of Justice (DOJ) news release.
While neither Jade nor Rose had ever participated in rowing, authorities accused Loughlin and Giannulli of paying a bribe of $500,000 in order to secure their daughters a place on USC’s crew team along with admission to the university.
After pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, Loughlin will serve two months in prison and will pay a $150,000 fine, according to plea agreement documents released on Thursday. Giannulli, who pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud, will pay a $250,000 fine along with a five month prison sentence. Per their plea deals, the couple will also have to contribute hundreds of hours of community service.
“Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants 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. We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions,” United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement released Thursday.
While Loughlin and Giannulli have accepted their respective plea agreements and have both pled guilty, they have yet to officially plead guilty and receive their sentences in front of a court. According to the DOJ’s press release, the couple will appear before U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton on a date that hasn’t yet been scheduled.
The celebrity couple were part of a larger college admissions scandal, which came to light in March 2019, according to Huffington Post. Dozens of celebrities, CEOs and real estate professionals reportedly paid bribes of up to $6 million in order to secure their children's admissions to the country’s most elite schools such as Georgetown, Yale, the University of California, Los Angeles and USC.
In total, Huffington Post reports that federal prosecutors, who called the scandal a “nationwide conspiracy,” identified 33 parents who had bribed university officials, exam administrators and sports coaches. In order to uncover the nationwide scandal, the FBI assembled more than 200 law enforcement officials in an operation called “Operation Varsity Blues,” in which they arrested over 50 individuals throughout the U.S., according to Huffington Post.
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