Actress Loughlin Faces New Charge In College Bribery Scam

Actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli exit the Boston Federal Court house after a pre-trial hearing with Magistrate Judge Kelley at the John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse in Boston.  Joseph Prezioso / AFP

 

Actress Lori Loughlin was slapped with an additional charge related to America’s wide-ranging college admissions scandal on Tuesday, increasing the likelihood that she could serve time in prison.

The star of 1980s-90s sitcom “Full House,” her husband and nine other parents now face the charge of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery on top of previous charges, prosecutors said.

Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying a $500,000 bribe so that their two daughters could gain entrance into a prestigious Californian university.

Prosecutors say they paid the money in 2016 and 2017 to that the girls could gain entrance to the University of Southern California (USC) by posing as members of the rowing team.

They have denied conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering, charges that can carry penalties of more than 20 years in prison.

If convicted, the extra charge leveled Tuesday could see the parents get a lengthier sentences. Prosecutors sometimes add extra charges to pressure defendants into changing their pleas.

US Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said the new indictment would further prosecutors’ efforts to hold the defendants “fully accountable.”

The ringleader behind the college admissions scam, William “Rick” Singer, who authorities say was paid about $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities.

“Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced in September to two weeks in jail after admitting paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT college entrance exam score.

Huffman was the first parent to be sentenced among 50 people indicted in the elaborate and scam to help children of the elite secure places in top US colleges.

Other universities targeted in the scam include Stanford, Yale, Georgetown and UCLA. None of the schools or the students have been charged in the case.

Actress Loughlin Pleads Not Guilty In College Bribery Scam

Actress Lori Loughlin exits the courthouse after facing charges for allegedly conspiring to commit mail fraud and other charges in the college admissions scandal at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston. Joseph Prezioso / AFP

 

American actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to secure their daughters’ entry into a prestigious California university, on Monday pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges.

The couple waived their right to appear before a judge to be formally accused and entered their pleas through documents filed by their attorneys, according to documents seen by AFP.

“Full House” star Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, were among the 50 people — including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman — indicted in the wide-ranging college bribery scandal.

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Huffman pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT college entrance exam score.

Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in 2016 and 2017 so that their two daughters could gain entrance into the University of Southern California (USC) by posing as members of the rowing team.

Their charges of money laundering and bank fraud carry a penalty of up to 40 years in prison.

The ringleader behind the college admissions scam, William “Rick” Singer, who authorities say was paid about $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators have pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities.

Besides USC, some of the universities targeted in the elaborate cheating scam include Yale, Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown. None of the schools or the students has been charged in the case.

According to prosecutors, the accused parents paid a firm run by Singer to cheat on college entrance exams for their children or to bribe coaches to help non-athletic students get scholarships.

AFP

Actress Implicated In Bribery Scandal Gets $1m Bail

Actress Lori Loughlin attends the Women’s Cancer Research Fund’s ‘Unforgettable Evening’ in Los Angeles, California. Credit: AFP

 

US actress Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in downtown  Los Angeles on Wednesday in connection with a massive college admissions scam involving other celebrities and top industry CEOs.

Bail for the “Full House” star was set at $1 million, the same amount as for her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, who has also been charged in the case.

The couple, who are to appear in federal court in Boston on March 29, allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to ensure their two daughters were recruited to the University of Southern California rowing team even though the pair did not participate in crew.

Loughlin, 54, surrendered to FBI agents early Wednesday after returning from Vancouver, where she was filming. Judge Steve Kim told the star in setting her bail that she would still be allowed to travel for work as long as the court was made aware of her plans.

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The couple were among 50 people indicted on Tuesday in a scam to help children of the American elite gain entry into top US colleges.

“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who has also been implicated in the scandal, was arrested by FBI agents at her home on Tuesday and later released on bail.

The 56-year-old actress and her husband William H Macy, the star of Showtime’s hit series “Shameless,” allegedly paid $15,000 for their eldest daughter to perform well on a college entrance exam. Macy was mentioned in the case but has not been charged.

The ringleader behind the scam, William “Rick” Singer, who authorities say was paid about $25 million dollars to bribe coaches and university administrators, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities.

Some of the universities targeted in the elaborate cheating scam include Yale, Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown. None of the schools or the students has been charged in the case.

According to prosecutors, the accused parents paid a firm run by Singer as much as $6 million to cheat on college entrance exams for their children or to bribe coaches to help non-athletic students get scholarships.

 Anger on social media 

Others ensnared in the scandal include Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of New York law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, who allegedly paid $75,000 to have his daughter’s test grades fixed.

Also charged is William McGlashan, an executive at the investment group TPG Capital who specialized in technology investments. He allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure his son got into the University of Southern California as a student-athlete.

The scandal has lit up social media, with much poking fun and expressing anger at the wealthy parents indicted — notably Loughlin and Huffman — as well as their children.

“CAPTION THIS: ‘It’s ok honey. We’ll get you in a college close to your mom’s prison so you can visit,” one Twitter user said in response to a picture Huffman had posted on Sunday of her daughter sitting on Macy’s lap and hugging him.

Ben Dreyfuss, the son of veteran actor Richard Dreyfuss, quipped: “I got into college the old fashioned way: by letting my father’s celebrity speak for itself.”

Another Twitter user said: “So what I’ve learned from #CollegeCheatingScandal is that rich kids are so stupid that they can’t get into colleges without cheating.”

Olivia Jade Giannulli, one of Loughlin’s daughters, disabled comments on her Instagram posts on Wednesday after some of her 1.3 million followers lashed out against her.

“Please do a video for how you prepared for the SATs,” read one comment.

Another berated the young woman, who posted a video blog last year in which she said she didn’t care about school, for stealing a college spot from “another deserving student (who probably actually rows!!)…”

AFP