Loughlin, husband plead not guilty in U.S. college bribery scam

Each of the charges Loughlin and her husband face call for up to 20 years in prison

Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are pleading not guilty to charges they took part in the sweeping college admissions bribery scam, according to court documents filed Monday.

The couple is accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither is a rower.

They were among 50 people charged last month in the scandal that has embroiled elite school across the country, including Stanford, Georgetown and Yale.

Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House,” and Giannulli haven’t publicly addressed the allegations against them.

READ MORE: Accused test-taker pleads guilty in college bribery scandal involving B.C. businessman

Loughlin and Giannulli waived their right to appear for their arraignment in Boston federal court and plead not guilty to the two charges against them, their lawyers said in court documents. The judge granted their requests not to appear.

Thirty-three wealthy parents were charged in what authorities have called the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. They are accused of paying admissions consultant Rick Singer to rig standardized test scores and bribe college coaches and other insiders to get their children into selective schools.

Authorities say Loughlin and Giannulli helped create fake athletic profiles for their daughters by sending Singer photos of their teens posing on rowing machines. After their older daughter was admitted to USC, authorities say Giannulli, whose Mossimo clothing had long been a Target brand until recently, sent Singer an email with the subject line “Trojan happiness,” thanking him for his “efforts and end result!”

Their daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli — a social media star who has a popular YouTube channel — was dropped from deals with cosmetics retailer Sephora and hair products company TRESemme after her parents’ arrest.

Prosecutors added a money laundering conspiracy charge against Loughlin, Giannulli and more than a dozen other parents who are still fighting the case, increasing the pressure on them to plead guilty.

Several other parents who were indicted alongside Loughlin and Giannulli last week have also filed court documents entering not guilty pleas.

Each of the charges Loughlin and Giannulli face call for up to 20 years in prison, although first-time offenders would get only a small fraction of that if convicted.

Fellow actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and 12 other parents announced last week that they have agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Huffman is scheduled to appear in Boston on May 21 to enter her plea.

Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Electrical appliance failure likely caused apartment fire that killed Saanich resident

Large parts of the Richmond Road apartment building remain uninhabitable following June 21 fire

Vancouver Island fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Chosen 52 to begin ‘road to recovery’ at controversial Parksville facility

Orca Place supportive housing at 222 Corfield St. expected to open this summer

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

Olympic skier from B.C. suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

City of Duncan considers tougher laws for drug houses

New bylaw gets first three readings by council

Last remaining Victoria Legion faces $100,000 property tax bill

The Trafalgar/ Pro Patria Branch can’t afford to operate with such high taxes

Most Read