Loughlin, husband plead not guilty in U.S. college bribery scam

Each of the charges Loughlin and her husband face call for up to 20 years in prison

Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are pleading not guilty to charges they took part in the sweeping college admissions bribery scam, according to court documents filed Monday.

The couple is accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither is a rower.

They were among 50 people charged last month in the scandal that has embroiled elite school across the country, including Stanford, Georgetown and Yale.

Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House,” and Giannulli haven’t publicly addressed the allegations against them.

READ MORE: Accused test-taker pleads guilty in college bribery scandal involving B.C. businessman

Loughlin and Giannulli waived their right to appear for their arraignment in Boston federal court and plead not guilty to the two charges against them, their lawyers said in court documents. The judge granted their requests not to appear.

Thirty-three wealthy parents were charged in what authorities have called the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. They are accused of paying admissions consultant Rick Singer to rig standardized test scores and bribe college coaches and other insiders to get their children into selective schools.

Authorities say Loughlin and Giannulli helped create fake athletic profiles for their daughters by sending Singer photos of their teens posing on rowing machines. After their older daughter was admitted to USC, authorities say Giannulli, whose Mossimo clothing had long been a Target brand until recently, sent Singer an email with the subject line “Trojan happiness,” thanking him for his “efforts and end result!”

Their daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli — a social media star who has a popular YouTube channel — was dropped from deals with cosmetics retailer Sephora and hair products company TRESemme after her parents’ arrest.

Prosecutors added a money laundering conspiracy charge against Loughlin, Giannulli and more than a dozen other parents who are still fighting the case, increasing the pressure on them to plead guilty.

Several other parents who were indicted alongside Loughlin and Giannulli last week have also filed court documents entering not guilty pleas.

Each of the charges Loughlin and Giannulli face call for up to 20 years in prison, although first-time offenders would get only a small fraction of that if convicted.

Fellow actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and 12 other parents announced last week that they have agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Huffman is scheduled to appear in Boston on May 21 to enter her plea.

Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Maple Ridge musician’s newest album about “unrequitedness”

Rob Taylor released Passionate Crime earlier this year

Three-year-old takes selfless steps to raise funds in honour of his brother

A Maple Ridge family holds strong together as a family unit through a tough year

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Salvation Army will help 500-plus students with school supplies

Ridge Meadows Ministries taking registrations and raising funds

Coles-Lyster hits podium during Superweek

Maple Ridge cyclist to compete at Pan American Games

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read