Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are taking a different route from actor Felicity Huffman as regards the college admissions cheating scandal, pleading not guilty to a list of charges which now includes money laundering.
The Los Angeles Times says that unlike Huffman — who has accepted the federal prosecutor’s plea deal, and has thrown herself upon the mercy of the court — Loughlin and Giannulli plan to fight the charges. These charges surround the claim that they paid $500,000 to get their daughters, Olivia and Isabella Giannulli, into USC in an athletic recruiting scam, allegedly claiming that the girls had previously participated in crew.
The couple filed their “not guilty” plea in court on April 15, as did 14 other parents. All defendants now face new charges — including fraud conspiracy and participation in a money laundering conspiracy.
William “Rick” Singer, who was the mastermind of the scam, turned over correspondence to investigators which implicates Loughlin, Giannulli, and potentially their daughters in the cheating scandal. Court documents provide emails and recorded conversations which allegedly prove that the couple agreed to bribe the rowing coach.
An email from Giannulli acknowledges that they worked with Singer, and that he met with both daughters.
“I’d like to maybe sit with you after your session with the girls as I have some concerns and want to fully understand the game plan and make sure we have a roadmap for success as it relates to [our daughter] and getting her into a school other than ASU!”
Lori Loughlin didn't believe she would actually face prison time, sources say. https://t.co/K6xki9pKRF
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) April 14, 2019
The charges state that the couple allegedly agreed to bribe USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel — who was also charged in this case — to get their older daughter, Isabella into the school. They reportedly repeated the process to secure a place for the younger child, Olivia Jade, who was a freshman at the school when the scandal broke.
The federal prosecutor had stated that they would increase the charges for anyone who didn’t take the plea deal — and they did — but this doesn’t mean that the prosecutor can’t continue to add charges. The prosecutor could potentially indict one — or both — Giannulli daughters as well, as sources claim that Olivia Jade Giannulli knew about the bribery scam, per The Inquisitr.
Friends claim that the younger daughter of Lori Loughlin would have never gone along with the payoff plan if she realized that her parents could go to prison.
“She would have never gone along with it if she thought this would happen. Her thing is that she trusted her parents.”
Experts say that Loughlin and Giannulli could still take a plea deal, but the terms are only going to get harsher as time passes.