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Tired of the college admissions scandal? Well, it’s not going away any time soon, with lawyers for Lori Loughlin pushing for the proposed trial date to be moved back — to 2021.
While federal prosecutors have said that they want the trials — which likely will take place in groups with the other defendants in the sweeping bribery case — to begin in October, lawyers for the Full House actress, her husband Mossimo Giannulli and other parents don’t think that is enough time to prepare.
In legal documents filed on Wednesday that were obtained by Yahoo Entertainment, attorneys for the defendants, spearheaded by Loughlin’s attorney Sean M. Berkowitz, “disagree that the first trial could begin in October 2020. A trial at that time is not feasible in light of the large volume of outstanding discovery, the timeline for resolving dispositive motions and the general complexity of the case.”
The documents said that the defense teams are still waiting for the government to produce “a large volume of discovery” and said “over 44,000 pages” were turned over in January. It said that discovery, or the gathering of evidence, has been occurring on a “rolling basis and has not indicated how many additional productions are forthcoming.” (Prosecutors have given the defense more than 1.9 million documents with more than 3.2 million pages in total, the attorney for another parent, Robert Popeo, has said. In addition, there are more than 300 hours of audio and video within the discovery.)
With the current schedule as it is — with various briefs due and hearings set from now through June — the “defendants respectfully request that the Court schedule the first trial to begin no sooner than February 2021,” Berkowitz wrote.
Of course, it’s up to the judge to decide when the trial or trials should begin.
The filing also addressed the judge considering grouping the defendants together in three trials. While they didn’t argue against it, it offered various grouping suggestions — splitting up those who made alleged “corrupt donations” to get their kids into school versus those who are alleged to have “defrauded testing companies” by the fixing of their kids test scores.
No matter what group they fall into, Loughlin and her husband will be tried together, having previously agreed to that.
Berkowitz did note, however, that some individual defendants plan to fight having consolidated trials, arguing that they “will result in substantial prejudice.”
Prosecutors claim Loughlin and her husband paid disgraced college admissions advisor William “Rick” Singer $500,000 to get their two daughters, Isabella and Olivia Jade Giannulli, into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, despite neither woman participating competitively in the sport. They maintain their innocence against the charges, which could put them in prison for up to 45 years.
Singer pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing. Meanwhile, he’s cooperating with the government.
Earlier this week, prosecutors released a fake rowing resume that was made for Olivia Jade, which claimed she participated competitively in the MAC (Marina Aquatic Center) junior program, run by UCLA, listing various medals and accolades she won as a result. She was never in that program, Yahoo Entertainment verified.
A Loughlin insider told People magazine that the family “didn’t have anything to do with” creating the fake resume. “They don’t even know enough about crew to know what awards are prestigious or not.￼ They are not capable of falsifying a résumé like that, because that’s not their world.”
A second source close to Loughlin said the application to be on the USC crew team, which was included the résumé, “was not filled out by anyone in the Giannulli family. It was filled out unbeknownst to them by someone at USC.”
The girls no longer attend USC, as of October, but aren’t hiding away. Earlier this week, Olivia Jade attended a fashion launch party with Kylie Jenner.
While this case drags on, Loughlin’s peer, Felicity Huffman, has put it behind her. While she was also arrested amid the widespread sting, the Desperate Housewives star pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to fix her daughter’s SAT scores — and served less than two weeks in prison last fall.
The harshest sentence so far was imposed on former chief executive officer of PIMCO Douglas Hodge, who also made a deal with prosecutors. Earlier this month he was sentenced to nine months in prison for paying bribes totaling $850,000 to secure admission for his four children to the USC and Georgetown University.
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