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After maintaining her innocence for 16 months, Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, will plead guilty for their role in the infamous college admissions scandal.
“The Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that the couple will plead guilty at a yet-to-be-determined court date,” reports Fox News. “Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and to honest services wire and mail fraud.”
Loughlin could serve up to two months in jail, be forced to pay a $150,000 fine, and up to 100 hours of community service during a two-year supervised release. Her husband could serve up to as many as five months in jail as well as a $250,000 fine and another 250 hours of community service.
Last year, Loughlin and her husband entered a not guilty plea after being charged with mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy in the infamous college bribery scam. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston charged them with “conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to use bribery to cheat on college entrance exams and to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities as purported athletic recruits.”
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly worked in concert with William “Rick” Singer to bribe college officials and rig the entrance exams so that their daughters could be accepted into elite universities. They are now the 23rd and 24th parents to enter a guilty plea for their role in Operation Varsity Blues.
In a statement, United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said that Loughlin and Giannulli will serve jail time as a result of their guilty plea.
“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. We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions,” said Lelling.
The plea agreements are not technically final and hinge on a judge accepting the deal as outlined in the agreement, which the Federal judge is expected to do.
Loughlin’s defense hinged on notes from William “Rick” Singer saying that investigators told him to lie to implicate her and her husband in a criminal act, alleging that the prosecution withheld the evidence for fear it would exonerate them. Their request for the judge to dismiss the case on those grounds were denied.
“In a sprawling, fast-moving prosecution, the failure to produce the notes earlier was simply a mistake,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven E. Frank wrote at the time. “The defendants have suffered no prejudice, and their suggestion that the notes somehow ‘exonerate’ them, or reveal that the evidence against them was fabricated, is demonstrably false.”
Prior to her plea deal, sources close to Loughlin said she was afraid that federal prosecutors were bullying her for pleading not guilty, worried that they might make an example out of her.
“[She] won’t be bullied or intimidated by the federal government and she believes the jury will recognize it as well,” the source said.
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