Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli have turned down the plea deal and pleaded not guilty to charges of committing fraud and money laundering in the college admissions scam.
The charges followed after the Federal Bureau of Investigation has carried out an investigation into an alleged college admissions scam and discovered that dozens of influential families and college officials from top universities engaged in practices involving “getting students admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic abilities, and helping potential students cheat on their college exams.”
The ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ thoroughly vetted both parents as well as educational institutions’ officials and discovered that 33 parents, including TV stars Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, paid William Singer, a college admissions counselor, a collective sum of $25 million.
The massive sum was used to bribe “college officials, coaches and college entrance exam administrators, who then helped students’ secure admissions ‘not on their merits but through fraud.’”
According to the FBI, the bribes were directed to high-ranking officials representing elite universities including Yale, UCLA, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of San Diego, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas, and to administrators responsible for overseeing SAT and ACT college entrance exams.
Now, after refusing to plead guilty to fraud charges, Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have been charged not only with mail fraud but also with money laundering for paying “bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
According to the US Attorney’s Office of the District of Massachusetts, “the charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.
“The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors,” the Office added.
Following the scandal, movers have been spotted removing furniture from the couple’s mansion. While Loughlin and husband haven’t announced that they would be downsizing, the removal trucks at the $35 million Bel Air, California, property clearly indicate that something is going on.
The couple bought the luxury estate for $14 million back in 2015. In 2017, after remodeling the 12,000 square-foot and 6-bedroom mansion, however, they had the place listed for whopping $35 million.
According to the reports, Loughlin and Giannulli refused to resort to the plea deal offered because they believed that the prosecutors were bluffing when they threatened them with a prison sentence.
The federal prosecutors, however, added money laundering to the list of charges on top of the initial mail fraud charge.
While Loughlin refused to budge under pressure, fellow actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 “to boost her daughter’s test score.”
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” Huffman expressed.
“This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
What are your thoughts on this admissions scam and the charges that Loughlin and her husband are facing? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to SHARE this post on Facebook!
“Woman Destroys $650,000 Ferrari Just Seconds After Picking Up From A Dealership”