107°F
weather icon Clear

Loughlin, husband plead in college scam, await judge’s OK on deal

“Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded guilty Friday to paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as part of a college admissions bribery scheme, but a judge has not decided whether he’ll accept their plea deals with prosecutors.

Under the proposed deals, Loughlin, 55, hopes to spend two months in prison and Giannulli, 56, is seeking to serve five months. But U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said Friday at the famous couple’s video hearing that he will decide whether to accept or reject the plea deals after further consideration of the presentencing report.

The famous couple, who appeared on separate video screens, both sitting with a lawyer, made no comments during the hearing other than to answer the judge’s questions.

They were among dozens of wealthy parents, athletic coaches and others charged last year in the bribery scheme. The parents paid hefty bribes to get their kids into elite universities with bogus test scores or fake athletic credentials, authorities said.

October trial was planned

The couple have been scheduled to go to trial in October on charges that they got their two daughters into USC as crew recruits, even though neither girl was a rower. Prosecutors say they funneled money through a sham charity operated by college admissions consultant Rick Singer, who has pleaded guilty to orchestrating the scheme.

Loughlin has also agreed to pay a $150,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service. Giannulli has agreed to pay a $250,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service.

Loughlin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Giannulli pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss charges of money laundering and federal programs bribery that were added after the case was filed.

Loughlin and Giannulli had argued they believed their payments were legitimate donations to the school or Singer’s charity and accused prosecutors of withholding evidence that would exonerate them. The judge this month r ejected the defense’s bid to dismiss the case over allegations of misconduct by federal agents.

An attorney for the couple declined Thursday to comment.

They are the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the case.

Others who have admitted to participating in the scheme include “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to have someone rig her daughter’s entrance exam. Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in prison.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Celebrities, politicians gather to mourn George Floyd in Minneapolis

Hollywood celebrities, musicians and politicians gathered in front of the golden casket of George Floyd at a fiery memorial Thursday for the man whose death at the hands of police sparked global protests, with a civil rights leader declaring it is time for black people to demand, “Get your knee off our necks!”

1.9M seek jobless aid as reopenings slow for 9th week

The diminishing pace suggests that the job market meltdown that was triggered by the coronavirus may have bottomed out as more companies call at least some of their former employees back to work.

Trump-Pentagon clash breaks open over military use on protests

President Donald Trump’s Pentagon chief shot down his idea of using troops to quell protests across the United States, then reversed course on pulling part of the 82nd Airborne Division off standby in an extraordinary clash between the U.S. military and its commander in chief.

More than 100 charged with looting, assaults in California

California authorities have charged more than 100 people with looting, assault and other crimes committed during and around protests while police in a San Francisco Bay Area city said Wednesday that a break-in suspect died after being shot by police who mistook his hammer for a gun.

George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19, autopsy says

A full autopsy of George Floyd, the handcuffed black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police, was released Wednesday and provides several clinical details, including that Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19.

Ex-defense chief Mattis rips Trump for dividing Americans

In an extraordinary rebuke, former defense secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday denounced President Donald Trump’s heavy-handed use of military force to quell protests near the White House and said his former boss was setting up a “false conflict” between the military and civilian society.

 
3 other officers charged in George Floyd’s death

Prosecutors upgraded a charge against a Minneapolis police officer accused of pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck and charged three other officers.

Clues in COVID-19 vaccine race come from monkeys, ferrets

Even as companies recruit tens of thousands of people for larger vaccine studies this summer, behind the scenes scientists still are testing ferrets, monkeys and other animals in hopes of clues to those basic questions — steps that in a pre-pandemic era would have been finished first.

Breaking with president, Esper opposes using military for protests

Esper said the Insurrection Act, which would allow Trump to use active-duty military for law enforcement in containing street protests, should be invoked in the United States “only in the most urgent and dire of situations.” He declared, “We are not in one of those situations now.”