Another day, another “ruh-ro” in the ongoing Operation Varsity Blues saga. After Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges in the college admissions scam on Monday, the Daily Mail now reports one of their two daughters—either influencer/vlogger Olivia Jade, 19, or Bella Giannulli, 20—has received a “target letter” declaring her the subject of an investigation by the Department of Justice.
As The New York Times reported earlier this week, “at least some children of the parents who were charged in the scandal have received so-called target letters, which notify people that they could be targets of a criminal probe.” So far, no students (read: kids of the dozens of parents) allegedly involved in the scandal have been charged.
Internet sleuths are now, inevitably, speculating that the daughter in question could be Bella, who deleted her Instagram account this week. (Her sister’s remains active.) Both Olivia Jade and Bella are technically still University of Southern California students whose accounts are on hold while the university reviews their cases; their parents, Loughlin and Giannulli, stand accused of paying $500,000 to Operation Varsity Blues ringleader William “Rick” Singer to pass their daughters off as crew recruits. Some of the high-profile parents charged, including Felicity Huffman, have pleaded guilty in hopes of reduced sentences, though prosecutors are still seeking a four- to 10-month jail sentence for the actress. But on Monday, Loughlin and Giannulli entered not guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, and are vowing to fight the charges.
One potential line of defense? Loughlin and Giannulli—because, reminder, it wasn’t only the moms who were allegedly involved in the scam—were just trying really, really hard to help their kids, according to the L.A. Times, in this cultural moment of “parenting on steroids.” For future reference, though, steroid possession is also illegal.