Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have each agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy in the college admissions bribery scandal.
Under the terms of the plea agreements, Loughlin will be sentenced to two months in prison and Giannulli will be sentenced to five months. They are expected to enter their pleas at a court hearing, held via video conference, on Friday morning.
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Loughlin and Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California, using falsified athletic profiles. They were among dozens of parents swept up in the investigation of admissions consultant Rick Singer. Singer has admitted to bribing athletic coaches to gain admission for his clients’ children through what he called a “side door.” He also hired proctors and test-takers to help his clients cheat on the SAT exam.
The probe — dubbed Operation Varsity Blues — also ensnared actress Felicity Huffman, who served 11 days in a federal facility in Dublin, Calif., last fall after admitting to paying Singer $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT score.
Loughlin and Giannulli were the highest profile defendants remaining in the case. They had maintained their innocence, and sought to have the charges dismissed on the grounds of government misconduct. The couple’s attorneys had argued that they believed they were making a legitimate donation, and did not understand their payments to be bribes. Judge Nathaniel Gorton denied that motion on May 8, and the couple was headed for a trial in October.
They are now the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case. The others have received sentences ranging from probation up to nine months in prison.
Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. Each had also faced two other counts of bribery and money laundering, which will be dropped.
Under Loughlin’s plea agreement, she will be sentence to two months in prison, as well as a $150,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service. Under the terms of Giannulli’s plea agreement, he will face five months in prison, a $250,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.
“Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case. We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
Loughlin’s representative declined to comment.
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