Actress Lori Loughlin Waves off Attorney Conflict in U.S. College Scam Case

Josh Reynolds/Reuters

Actress Lori Loughlin on Tuesday waved off concerns about a potential conflict involving the lawyers who will defend the “Full House” star and her husband against charges of participating in a U.S. college admissions scam.

Federal prosecutors have accused Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California through bribery as purported crew recruits.

They are among 51 people charged since March with participating in a vast scheme in which wealthy parents conspired to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure admission of their children to top universities.

Prosecutors claim they did so with the help of William “Rick” Singer, a California college admissions consultant who has pleaded guilty to helping bribe university sports coaches to present clients’ children as fake athletic recruits.

Both Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty.

At Tuesday’s hearing, a federal magistrate judge questioned Loughlin and Giannulli about whether they were aware of the risks posed by their decision to be jointly represented by the law firm Latham & Watkins.

U.S. Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley told them the choice could hamper their individual defenses. For example, if one wanted to testify at trial, their lawyers might not want that because it could hurt the spouse’s defense, she said.

“You need to have the undivided loyalty of counsel,” she said.

But the judge said she would allow Loughlin and Giannulli to waive the conflict after both confirmed they wanted to continue being represented by Latham.

“My clients do have a united front,” William Trach, a lawyer at Latham, said.

Prosecutors had also previously questioned whether Latham needed to be disqualified as it counted USC as a client, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said that was no longer an issue after the firm ceased working for the school.

The judge withheld immediately ruling on whether another, smaller firm retained by Giannulli may need to be disqualified because it also represents a cooperating witness, but Kelley said she likely would allow the conflict to be waived.

Thirty-four parents have been charged in the college admissions scandal. Of those, 15 have agreed to plead guilty, including “Desperate Housewives” TV star Felicity Huffman. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 13.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Scott Malone, Bill Berkrot, Tom Brown and Richard Chang)

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Otis
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From ‘Full House’ to the Big House.

General Confusion
Member

“Somehow, I thought the reason she took these roles was because she was like the characters she played. Silly me.” Nancy Assaf

Come on. You can’t be that confused nowadays. Actors enjoy taking rolls with unsavory characters all of the time because playing them is more challenging or fun. Even Cary Grant did it once (I think in Suspicion) to break from his goodie-goodie-two-shoes reputation.

WellHungChad
Member

So what’s the difference between what Laughlin did by fraudulently buying her kid’s way into a prestigious school, and Senator Elizabeth Warren fraudulently lying about her heritage to get into a prestigious school?
Answer: Loughlin is on trial and Warren is running for president!

Only in Liberal Loony Democrat Land is one of these situations OK and the other not.

Bad
Guest
Bad

Past time to bring justice to the elite thinking in this country, these Hollywood clowns like the Clinton’s and Obama’s need to see equal justice they want for others

Phoenix
Member

I haven’t realized there were 51 other people charged as well. This type of thing is why people who are poor feel like the system is stacked against them.

Nancy Assaf
Member

It’s funny. I watched her on some of her TV shows and she always played such a wholesome character. Somehow, I thought the reason she took these roles was because she was like the characters she played. Silly me.

Morte206
Member

FromFull House to a potentially even Bigger Fuller House. I don’t think this is the hit sequel she was hoping for.

Paul Delfornia
Member

Her career is Toast ,,, the vast majority of Americans who watched her on HMARK and other shows are fed up with Hollywood BS Entitlement. A clear message must be sent by the courts that this bribery will not be tolerated !!

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