Lori Loughlin hit by new charges in college admissions scandal – Deadline
UPDATE, 8:39 a.m .: As more parents involved in the sprawling college admissions scandal strike deals with federal prosecutors for reduced sentences, Lori Loughlin is fighting like the old one Full house the star faces decades behind bars.
Hit with new corruption charges late last month, Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli today announced in court documents that they are unsurprisingly pleading not guilty. furthermore, a status conference scheduled for Jan. 17 in what is clearly a case where neither side appears inclined to back down.
“Accordingly, Ms Loughlin respectfully requests that the Court accept this waiver and enter Ms Loughlin’s not guilty plea,” says bare record filed by lawyers for Latham & Watkins in U.S. District Court on Friday from Massachusetts (read it here).
It’s the same plea the once-high-flying couple made to earlier charges of two charges of fraud and money laundering. Caught dishing out $ 500,000 through a bogus foundation, Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted in March along with more than 30 other well-heeled parents over illegal efforts they made to enroll their children in high school schools. foreground with fake credentials and inflated test results.
The couple’s two daughters have since left USC in the spotlight of the scandal.
Likely to be tried in federal court in Boston in the spring of next year, the former Hallmark Channel regular and Giannulli are preparing a joint defense. It’s a rare and risky proposition that could hamper the duo if things get sticky and one party starts wanting to seek a deal with the government and another doesn’t, to put it mildly.
Currently, with the new charge released on October 22, Loughlin and his spouse face around 50 years in prison and millions in fines if found guilty.
On another side, Felicity huffman quietly escaped a federal prison late last week after serving about 11 days of her 14-day sentence as part of the ongoing investigation.
PREVIOUSLY, OCT. 10 p.m .: Felicity Huffman is halfway through jail time for nationwide role university corruption system, but Lori Loughlin could consider a much longer period if she is convicted of bringing her daughters into USC under false pretenses.
Having pleaded not guilty this spring to various federal charges of “Operation Varsity Blues,” the former Fuller house The star and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are now facing a new corruption complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. A new charge that potentially adds a decade more behind bars to the couple if they are found guilty in the trial scheduled for next year.
In total, Loughlin and Giannulli are set to go the long road of 50 years in prison and around $ 1.23 million in fines each. As news of the scandal erupted and gained momentum over the past few months, the two daughters of the duo left USC – the top-notch school where their parents apparently played quickly and relentlessly with the law. to bring them in.
“The charges laid today are the result of an ongoing investigation into the nationwide college admissions case,” US Attorney Andrew Lelling said Tuesday after the new indictment (read it here) against the once high-flying couple, STX founder Bill McGlashan, Jr and eight other deep-pocketed parents has been made public. “Our goal from the start has been to hold the accused fully accountable for the corruption of the university admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud. The indictments that replace them will allow this effort to continue.
To be precise, as no new indictment date has yet been set, the 11 parents are accused in the third indictment of having conspired “to commit a federal program of corruption by bribing university employees. of Southern California (USC) to facilitate the admission of their children. In return for the bribes, university employees reportedly designated the children of the defendants as athletic recruits – with little or no consideration for their athletic ability – or as members of other privileged admission categories.
None of this sounds good, clearly. To that end, lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli did not respond to a request for comment on the new charges today.
After officially pleading not guilty in mid-April after refusing a government deal, Loughlin and Giannulli are accused in the investigation of well-heeled suspects of paying “bribes totaling $ 500,000 in exchange for appointing their two daughters as recruits to the USC crew team – despite the fact that they did not participate in the crew – thus facilitating their admission to USC, “according to the 200-page indictment released on March 12.
Currently on $ 1 million bail, Loughlin and his fashion designer wife were hit hard by an additional money laundering charge on April 9 after rejecting the federal government’s offer to cut charges and sentencing recommendations.
In an interview on local television earlier this month, Lelling hinted that things were about to get even tighter for Loughlin and Giannulli. “If it is after the trial, we would be asking for something significantly higher,” the federal prosecutor to WCVB in Boston said on the type of sentence the couple could face and making a comparison to the 14 days spent in a cell that American crime star Huffman received in early September.
After pleading guilty for a long time and throwing herself on the court’s leniency, Huffman presented to the Federal Correctional Facility in Dublin, California. October 15. “If she resolves it before trial, something less than that,” Lelling told Loughlin and Giannulli’s odds anchors if they strike a deal instead of taking the case to a jury.
Like Huffman, Loughlin and her still-struggling husband are among the most high-profile cases among more than 30 parents indicted in wealthy families’ nationwide effort to enroll their children in the best schools using underhanded methods and the services of ‘a former call center. manager William Singer and his fake Key Worldwide Foundation.
In fact, the current indictment draws a profile that leaves little to the imagination. even as the federal government moves closer.
“On or about November 29, 2018, Singer called LOUGHLIN from Boston, Massachusetts,” the 61-page record reads. “During the appeal, Singer said, in sum and substance, that KWF was being audited by the IRS, which was asking for the two payments of $ 200,000 by GIANNULLIS. The singer added:” I just want to make sure you know that, a, that you’re probably going to get a call and I haven’t told them anything about the girls going through the side door, by the team, even though they haven’t. crew made to enter USC. So that’s all I told them is that you donated to our foundation to help underprivileged children. LOUGHLIN replied, “Um-hrrnn. “
At the end of the summer, Loughlin and Giannulli convinced a tired federal judge to accept their potentially disastrous desire to share the same defense team. With that, lawyers for the duo will be back in Boston federal court for a status conference on January 17, 2020.
As it stands, the newly indicted couple are neither expected nor required to be present.