"Full House" actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are charged with bribing their daughters' way into college. They shelled out $500,000 to have their daughters pose as rowing recruits during the application process for the University of Southern California, although neither of them participated in the sport.
On top of that, she and 14 other parents were indicted on fraud and money laundering charges. But the couple has since rejected any wrongdoing, and thumbed their nose at a plea deal. Now, they believe they have cause to see all charges dropped because the prosecutors reportedly bullied their informant Rick Singer and hid evidence that would have helped their cause.
The defense says prosecutors withheld evidence that would support the parents' argument that they believed the payments were legitimate donations that would benefit the schools, rather than bribes for coaches or officials. The evidence — notes from the phone of the scheme's admitted mastermind, admissions consultant Rick Singer — was not given to the defense until last month.
Singer wrote in the notes that FBI agents yelled at him and told him to lie to get parents to say things in recorded phone calls that could be used against them. Singer wrote that FBI agents told him to say that he told parents the payments were bribes.
“They continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where there money was going — to the program not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment,” Singer wrote, according to the filing.
“The extraordinary government misconduct presented in this case threatens grave harm to defendants and the integrity of this proceeding," the parents' lawyers wrote. "That misconduct cannot be ignored."
"Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman was another prominent figure caught up in last year's college cheating scandal. She pled guilty to trying to boost her daughter's SAT scores and expressed her deep regret during her statement in the courtroom.
“I have inflicted more damage than I could’ve ever imagined,” Huffman tearfully admitted.
A Massachusetts judge appreciated the mother's sincerity, but ordered Huffman to serve 14 days in prison (she actually only served ten), pay a $30,000 fine, and commit to 250 hours of community service. Judicial experts predict the non-remorseful Loughlin faces a much worse sentence.
Loughlin's next day in court will be October 2.
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