Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have (finally) agreed to plea guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in the college admissions bribery case.
The couple will serve prison time, according to papers filed in the Boston federal court on May 21.
The charge carries up to 20 years in prison and a fine of USD $250,000 (AUD $380,000).
The stunning plea reversal sees Loughlin agree to serve two months in prison and her husband agree to serve five months. The judge is yet to approve these time frames.
“Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case,” said United States Attorney Andrew Lelling.
More than thirty wealthy parents – CEOS, finance big wigs, top lawyers – were charged with buying entry to a series of schools for their children who were, let’s say, academically middling. One of them was fellow actress Felicity Huffman who immediately expressed her guilt after being arrested. She spent 14 days in prison.
“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done,” said Huffman. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologise to them and, especially, I want to apologise to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.”
“My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying USD $500,000 (AUD $761,000) in bribes for their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, to get into the University of Southern California. They entered the college as crew coxswains even though no one really believes either girl had ever even been in a rowboat.
Loughlin has seemed really calm and quietly confident throughout this entire ordeal and was often seen smiling in court.
The man who ran the scheme, William Singer, helped parents falsify SAT exam results of their usually unsuspecting children. He would then bribe college officials and recommend paying students as athletes. The problem was, none of them were.
In 2018, Singer was fitted with a wire. (Yes, he himself was bribed by the government to record conversations with persons of interest.) The result lifted the lid on on of the biggest college scandals in American history.
Olivia Jade is a prominent influencer in the States. On a resurfaced 2017 YouTube video, Loughlin jokes about how expensive her university fees are. “If you would’ve said ‘England is my city,’ ” Loughlin began, “I would say ‘Why did I pay all this money for your education?’” Watch the moment above.
More to come.