More than a year after the initial allegations against them were made, Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are pleading guilty, according to The Department of Justice.
The headline on the announcement was ordinary: “California Couple in College Admissions Case Agrees to Plead Guilty.”
— U.S. Attorney MA (@DMAnews1) May 21, 2020
The couple was one of the few remaining holdouts in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. Loughlin and Giannulli stood firm in asserting their innocence, while many other parents and school officials admitted to participating in a widespread bribery plot with admitted mastermind and key government witness William “Rick” Singer. They maintained that they didn’t do anything illegal in trying to get their daughters into the University of Southern California, and that they never paid bribes, just legitimate donations.
Their story is now set to change. Loughlin and Giannulli are the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty, said the DOJ. Pending court approval, Loughlin would spend two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine, and undergo two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service. She will admit to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, authorities said. Giannulli would have five months behind bars, pay a $250,000, and two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service. He will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
Federal records show that a “Rule 11 Hearing”–which concerns pleas–is set for 11:30 a.m. EST on Friday. The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts will hold court via video conference.
Attorneys for the defendants didn’t immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.
“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,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
The agreement comes not long after the judge in the case refused to dismiss the case, refused to suppress key evidence and declined to hold an evidentiary hearing.
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Loughlin would spend 100 “years” of community services. Obviously, it’s just 100 hours.
[Image via JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images]
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