UNITED STATES—Actress Lori Loughlin, 55, pleaded not guilty to new bribery charges filed against her and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, 56, in the college admissions scandal, on Friday, November 1.
Loughlin and her husband were among 11 parents charged last week by a grand jury in Boston, Massachusetts. The couple both entered pleas of not guilty on Friday to new charges filed against them in the college admissions scandal that was first made public on March 12. The couple also waived their right to appear at the November 20 arraignment.
Prosecutors claim that the couple conspired with William “Rick” Singer, a Newport Beach consultant, to commit fraud, money laundering, as well as a federal program bribery in order to secure their children’s entry into USC.
In previous meetings, prosecutors warned all 11 parents they could be facing new charges if they did not plead guilty initially. With the new charges, new evidence surfaced, such as emails from Giannulli to his accountant in April 2017 explaining a $200,000 invoice he received from Singer. In the email, Giannulli writes:
“Good news my daughter … is in USC. Bad is I had to work the system.”
The couple is said to have paid anywhere between $250,000-$500,000 in order to bribe and ensure their daughters acceptance into USC via the athletic department’s official, Donna Heinel. The couple planned to get their daughters, Isabella and Olivia Jade, into the reputable university by posing them as athletes on the crew team, despite neither one of them ever rowing in the sport.
A conspiracy to commit federal program bribery charge can bring the couple a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, along with a fine of up to $250,000. With the couples previous charges of money laundering, they can face a total of 40 years in prison if found guilty on all of the counts.
Actress Felicity Huffman, best known for her role on “Desperate Housewives,” was amongst the 11 parents charged in this scandal. Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to have her daughter, Sophia’s SAT scores changed and improved in order to get her accepted into universities. Huffman only served 11 of the 14 days she was sentenced to and was released last month.
Loughlin is best known for playing Aunt Becky in the hit 80s TV series, “Full House.” Her husband is a fashion designer who founded the Mossimo brand.
Written By Brenda De La Cruz