Almost a year after she and her husband were first charged in the college admissions scandal, Lori Loughlin is fighting back in court — with explosive evidence that could help exonerate her and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli.
On Feb. 26, the couple’s attorney Sean Berkowitz filed a motion to have to their upcoming trial date postponed due to newly released claims that scam mastermind Rick Singer was told by the FBI to lie about whether parents knew they were paying bribes.
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Berkowitz states in the court documents that “Singer’s notes indicate that FBI agents yelled at him and instructed him to lie by saying that he told his clients who participated in the alleged ‘side door’ scheme that their payments were bribes, rather than legitimate donations that went to the schools.”
Last year, Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 56, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit federal program bribery after they were accused of paying Singer $500,000 to designate their daughters — Isabella Rose, 21, and YouTube star Olivia Jade, 20 — as recruits to the USC crew team. Neither of their girls ever rowed. In addition, Loughlin and Giannulli were handed an additional federal charge in October: one count each of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The recent filing sent shock waves through those involved in the scandal, in which many defendants (including actress Felicity Huffman) have already pleaded guilty.
“This is a defense attorney’s dream and a prosecutor’s nightmare,” says criminal defense lawyer James J. Leonard Jr., who’s not representing anyone in the case. “This changes everything.”
Still, the Boston judge denied Loughlin’s request and set her and Giannulli’s court date for Oct. 5.
“They are not upset that the date didn’t get moved,” says a Loughlin source. “Any new development that might challenge the prosecution’s allegations is good for them.”