More information has come to light regarding the specific individuals who played essential roles in organizing the extensive college admissions scheme. Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have been accused of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bribery funds to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, accepted to the University of Southern California. They also reportedly got their daughters designated as crew recruits, despite the fact that neither girl was a rower. Laura Janke, a 36-year-old former assistant women’s soccer coach at the USC, has now been exposed for her role in the scandal. Janke allegedly helped create a fake crew profile for Olivia, ensuring she’d get accepted into the elite university, according to CNN.
Janke worked closely with Rick Singer, the ringleader and mastermind behind the scandal that law enforcement officials dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” A criminal complaint made against Janke states that on July 14, 2017, Singer emailed Janke to instruct her to create a fabricated profile for Olivia, who would be applying to the school.
“Ok sounds good. Please send me the pertinent information and I will get started,” Janke responded to the email.
Of course, they would need to ensure the profile looked as legitimate as possible in order to really convince the admissions office that Olivia was an actual crew competitor. Thus, Singer emailed both Loughlin and Giannulli to request an “action shot” of their daughter appearing to practice the sport. On July 28, Giannulli emailed Singer a photo of Olivia using a rowing machine.
Laura Janke, an assistant soccer coach at USC from 2007 to 2014, will plead guilty to a racketeering charge and cooperate with prosecutors, the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts said. https://t.co/u5jNVQZbpI
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 23, 2019
Janke has agreed to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering. She has also agreed to work with investigators on the case and testify if she is called to do so. Singer has also pleaded guilty for his role in the scandal. Meanwhile, Loughlin and Giannulli continue to claim their innocence, according to Fox News. However, attorney Neama Rahmani said that their future looks pretty bleak.
“The government doesn’t have to prove that Loughlin and Giannulli knew what the payments were used for. The fraudulent application to USC is enough to support the conspiracy charges,” Rahmani explained. “And there is more than enough circumstantial evidence to prove that they knew the payments were for an illicit or unlawful purpose.”
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office can and will add additional charges if Loughlin and Giannulli do not plead soon, or charge their daughters. If they continue to deny the allegations and are convicted at jury trial, I expect them to be sentenced to years in federal prison.”