Mossimo Giannulli Is in COVID-Related Protective Custody 1 Month After Reporting to Prison: Source

Gabrielle Chung
·3 min read

Mossimo Giannulli has been placed in COVID-19-related protective custody as he continues to serve his five-month prison sentence for his involvement in the high-profile college admissions scandal, PEOPLE has learned.

The 57-year-old designer — whose wife, Lori Loughlin, is also serving a prison sentence for her role in the scandal — is currently being kept apart from other prisoners as a precaution amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a legal source close to the couple tells PEOPLE.

On Friday, Giannulli's son Gianni claimed on his Instagram account that his father "has been locked in solitary confinement for one full month" and has been "only let out every 3 days for a few moments to shower," according to ABC News who captured a screen grab of Gianni's Instagram post.

However, the legal source tells PEOPLE that solitary confinement is a punitive status and Giannulli is not being punished, but is rather being separated from other inmates after the prison reported hundreds of COVID-19 cases in the summer.

The insider adds that Giannulli is out of his cell one hour a day, per prison protocol.

Representatives for Giannulli and Loughlin did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

RELATED: Mossimo Giannulli Shaves His Head 1 Day Before Reporting to Prison

Giannulli was booked into federal prison in Lompoc, near Santa Barbara, California, on Nov. 19.

According to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department's COVID-19 dashboard, 1,038 coronavirus cases and four coronavirus-related deaths have been reported within the prison as of Friday.

On May 22, Giannulli pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and one count of honest services wire and mail fraud. Loughlin, 56, admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. The couple was caught up in the college admissions scandal in which more than 50 parents allegedly bribed their wealthy children's way into prestigious universities.

According to the criminal complaint against them, the couple was accused of paying $500,000 to Rick Singer and Key Worldwide Foundation to falsely designate their daughters — Olivia Jade, 20, and Isabella Rose, 21 — as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither ever participated in the sport.

RELATED VIDEO: Lori Loughlin & Mossimo Giannulli ‘Deeply Regret What They Did’ in College Admissions Scandal: Source

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

On Aug. 21, a judge approved the couple’s plea deal, sentencing Giannulli five months in jail, a $250,000 fine and 250 hours of community service, while Loughlin received two months in jail, a $150,000 fine and 150 hours of community service.

Loughlin began her prison sentence in late October. The actress is expected to be released at the end of December, while Giannulli is slated to be freed near the end of April.

Recently, their daughter Olivia broke her silence about her parents' involvement in the college admission scandal, recognizing that the family had "messed up" during an episode of Red Table Talk.

"I'm not trying to victimize myself. I don't want pity — I don't deserve pity. We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like, 'I recognize I messed up,'" she said. "I never got to say, 'I'm really sorry that this happened,' or 'I really own that this was a big mess-up on everybody's part,' but I think everybody feels that way in my family right now."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.