Lori Loughlin, husband plead guilty in U.S. college admissions scandal
By Nate Raymond
BOSTON (Reuters) – “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband on Friday pleaded guilty to participating in a vast U.S. college admissions fraud scheme to secure spots for their daughters at the University of Southern California.
Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, appeared before a federal judge in Boston through a Zoom videoconference to plead guilty under agreements calling for them to serve two months and five months in prison, respectively.
They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. But U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said he would weigh whether to accept their plea deals, which restrict his ability to impose different sentences.
Loughlin and Giannulli have also agreed to be sentenced to respective fines of $150,000 and $250,000 and 100 and 250 hours of community service.
Gorton scheduled their sentencings for Aug. 21, though defense attorney William Trach requested an earlier date so the Los Angeles couple could have “finality.”
They are among 54 people charged over a scheme where wealthy parents conspired with a California college admissions consultant to use bribery and fraud to secure their children’s admission to top schools.
Consultant William “Rick” Singer has pleaded guilty to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to secure the admission of parents’ children to schools as fake athletic recruits.
The parents include actress Felicity Huffman, who received a 14-day prison sentence.
Also on Friday, Peter Dameris, staffing company ASGN Inc’s former chief, agreed to plead guilty. “He is deeply apologetic,” said his lawyer, Richard Crane.
Prosecutors allege Loughlin and Giannulli conspired with Singer to fabricate parts of their daughters’ applications so they could be admitted as fake rowing team recruits.
Prosecutors said Giannulli also paid $500,000 to induce a university employee to facilitate the recruitment of daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Tom Brown and Jonathan Oatis)
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