An attorney representing actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli is asking a judge to delay his clients’ trials, citing “exonerating” evidence that has been recently revealed.
Fox News reported that Sean M. Berkowitz, who is representing the couple, wrote in court documents that personal notes written by William “Rick” Singer – the man behind the entire college admissions scam – was allegedly told to lie by the FBI. The notes, according to Berkowitz, suggest the FBI told Singer to say he made Loughlin and others who participated in the scam that the money they were providing to him was a bribe, not a donation to the school.
“Singer’s notes indicate that FBI agents yelled at him and instructed him to lie by saying that he told his clients who participated in the alleged ‘side door’ scheme that their payments were bribes, rather than legitimate donations that went to the schools,” Berkowitz argued in court documents. “They further note the Government’s desire to ‘nail’ one of the defendants ‘at all costs.’”
Singer’s notes said FBI investigators asked him to “bend the truth” when it came to the scandal.
“Loud and abrasive call with agents,” the notes said, as reported by Fox. “They continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where their money was going — to the program not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment.”
Berkowitz also took prosecutors to task for withholding the evidence, which he says forced Loughlin and Giannulli to seek court remedies to obtain the evidence.
“The supplemental discovery produced today demonstrates that the Government was simply not being truthful with Defendants or the Court in the above filings, given that as early as October 2, 2018, Singer told agents working on the case the exact information we have been seeking in discovery, and those agents attempted to bully him into lying and saying something different,” Berkowitz argued. “This belated discovery, which should have been produced no later than 30 days after indictment, is devastating to the Government’s case and demonstrates that the Government has been improperly withholding core exculpatory information, employing a ‘win at all costs’ effort rather than following their obligation to do justice.”
“The Government is trying to benefit from withholding information in violation of its obligations and the Defendants’ constitutional rights, but then force trial as quickly as it can. The Government should not be rewarded, nor the Defendants punished, for this kind of egregious lack of candor and violation of its obligations,” he concluded.
As Fox reported, Loughlin and Giannulli plead not guilty to bribery charges that accused the couple of arranging a $500,000 bribe to Singer to get their daughters not only into the University of Southern California (USC) but also on the crew team even though they had never participated in the sport.
“The charge of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The couple was previously hit with charges of money laundering and conspiracy that could land them behind bars for 40 years if convicted on all of them,” Fox reported.