Officially guilty. Ever since their May 2019 arrest, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have denied taking part in the nationwide college admissions scandal. However, on Friday, May 22, the actress, 55, and the designer 56, changed their tunes.
The couple officially entered their guilty pleas on Friday morning during a Zoom court appearance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They sat in separate rooms with their respective attorneys. Loughlin wore all black and smiled at the camera at one point, while Giannulli had on a black suit and tie and appeared nervous.
When the judge asked whether they would allow the case to move forward, the Full House alum responded, “Yes, your honor,” and the Mossimo founder replied, “Yes, sir.” Federal prosecutor Eric Rosen then read through a lengthy narrative of the evidence that would’ve been presented to the court if there had been a trial. Loughlin looked down with her brow furrowed at one point and looked up again once the prosecutor was finished. Giannulli, meanwhile, stared into the the camera with a deadpan expression.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 21, but Giannulli’s attorney, William Trach, asked for an earlier sentencing date of July 30, saying, “Our clients would like finality of this process.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the pair’s acceptance of a plea deal on Thursday, May 21. Loughlin’s deal includes two months of prison, two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service and a $150,000 fine. Giannulli will be sentenced to five months in prison, two years of supervised release, serve 250 hours of community service and pay a $250,000 fine.
The couple were among dozens of parents accused of paying bribes in order to get their daughters into college. They were arrested in March 2019 on the allegations they helped facilitate Bella and Olivia Jade’s admissions into the University of Southern California as part of the crew team, despite the fact that Bella, 21, and Olivia Jade, 20, do not play the sport. Photos were later released by federal prosecutors of the YouTuber on rowing machines.
In March, Loughlin and Giannulli filed a petition for the court to drop the bribery, money laundering and fraud charges against them, citing “extraordinary government misconduct” in the docs. However, in May, the judge chose not to dismiss the charges.
“After consideration of the extensive briefing, affidavits and other information provided by the government and defendants, the Court is satisfied that the government has not lied to or misled the Court,” the legal documents, obtained by Us, revealed.
Actress Felicity Huffman was also indicted in the scandal. She pleaded guilty to fraud charges for paying $15,000 to higher her daughter Sophia’s SAT scores. She was sentenced to 14 days in federal prison, a $30,000 fine, a year of supervised release and 250 hours of community service. In October 2019, she was released from prison after serving 11 days of her 14 days.