Lori Loughlin among Those Facing New Charges in U.S. College Admissions Scam

Brian Snyder/File Photo/Reuters

Actress Lori Loughlin is facing a new bribery charge after federal prosecutors on Tuesday said they brought additional charges against 18 wealthy parents, university athletic officials and others accused of participating in the largest U.S. college admissions scam ever uncovered.

The “Full House” star is one of 11 parents hit with new charges. Federal prosecutors in Boston say Loughlin conspired to bribe University of Southern California employees to secure the admission of her two daughters.

She and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were previously charged with conspiring to commit honest services fraud and money laundering. They now face a new charge of conspiring to commit federal programs bribery.

The new charges contained in the revised indictment filed against them and the other parents adds to the potential maximum prison terms they each face if convicted. In Loughlin’s case, it jumped from 40 to 45 years, though she would likely get far less.

All 11 parents have previously pleaded not guilty.

“Our goal from the beginning has been to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said.

Defense lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

Prosecutors have charged 52 people with participating in a vast scheme in which wealthy parents conspired with a California college admissions consultant to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of their children to top schools.

William “Rick” Singer, the consultant, pleaded guilty in March to charges he facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and helped bribe sports coaches at universities to present his clients’ children as fake athletic recruits.

The 35 parents charged since March include “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who last week began serving a 14-day prison term after pleading guilty.

Prosecutors allege that Loughlin and Giannulli agreed with Singer to pay $500,000 to have their two daughters named as recruits to the University of Southern California (USC) crew team, even though they did not row competitively.

At an Aug. 27 hearing, William Trach, their attorney, argued that “zero evidence” existed to support the allegations, saying they believed they were providing legitimate donations to USC.

The new charges came a day after USC confirmed the couple’s daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli, were no longer enrolled at the school.

Four other parents, including former Pimco Chief Executive Douglas Hodge and Hercules Capital Inc founder Manuel Henriquez, pleaded guilty on Monday after prosecutors agreed to not bring additional charges against them if they did so.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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General Confusion
Member

Reb: Children of legacy students get some priority at many universities, including Ivy league universities. However, money greases that squeaky wheel. So, for instance, if the child trying to get enrolled doesn’t have quite good enough marks, money is a good pursuader. The lower the marks, the bigger the pursuasion is needed. Sounds logical, right?

Now, think about this. Jared Kushner’s father had to pay $2.5 MILLION dollars to be paid in annual instalments of $250K just to get Jared into Harvard.

Reb
Guest
Reb

HORRIBLE!!! When brilliant children who are poor can not afford to go to college because they can not get there & would not have a place to sleep though the academics would be easy!!! Those parents & children ache deeply knowing they should receive financial full ride when those who have never focused to achieve on their own are accepted & pay nothing & could care less!!!

Tom Bodine
Member

Her husband may be a fashion designer but he looks like an idiot

Sherri
Member

The elite have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar….nothing new except this time our justice system is actually attempting to do something. A 14 day jail stay is way too light IMHO.

General Confusion
Member

Money laundering? Interesting!

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!” Walter Scott

Harry
Member

Lock them up!

Vincent C. Hunter
Guest
Vincent C. Hunter

“Our goal from the beginning has been to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said.
…and perhaps hold the institutions involved accountable for creating a fraudulent admissions process?

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