After a year-long legal battle, actress Lori Loughlin has been sentenced to two months in prison for her role in the infamous college admissions scandal. Her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will serve five months in prison.
The former “Full House” actress received her sentence on Friday in line with the plea deal she and her legal team worked out back in May.
“In their plea agreement, Loughlin, 56, agreed to serve two months and pay a $150,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. Giannulli, meanwhile, would serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service,” reported Fox News.
Loughlin at first appeared calm and collected when her attorney spoke; she, however, became emotional when she apologized to the judge.
“I made an awful decision. I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process, and in doing so I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass,” she said. “I have great faith in God, and I believe in redemption, and I will do everything in my power to redeem myself and use this experience as a catalyst to do good.”
Loughlin’s attorney, BJ Trach, noted that “Lori lost the acting career she spent 40 years building” and highlighted how her “family lived paycheck-to-paycheck” while she was growing up.
“She didn’t attend college because her family couldn’t afford it,” said Trach.
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.
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 was 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.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin O’Connell argued that Loughlin participated in the scandal to get “what she wanted, no matter how and no matter the cost,” asserting that prison time was necessary to show that “everyone, no matter your status, is accountable in our justice system.”