A former coach at the University of Southern California — one involved in the college admissions scandal still making headlines — changed her plea from not guilty to guilty on Tuesday. The college admissions scandal continues to surround dozens of wealthy parents, including actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Massimo Giannulli.
Laura Janke, 36, admitted to creating false profiles for children of those parents, such as Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade, The Brown County Democrat reported. Prosecutors claim that Janke made a profile for Olivia that depicted her as a competitive rower. Despite the fact that Olivia does not participate in rowing, she was admitted to the college as a member of the L.A. Marina Club team, regardless.
In March, Janke pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, but that changed after she reached a plea deal in which she agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation.
Prosecutors are reportedly seeking a sentence that includes 27 to 33 months in prison. Janke must also pay a penalty of $134,213, which prosecutors said was the amount she was paid for her part in the scandal. In addition, she will also have to pay an unspecified restitution amount, according to USA Today. Janke will be sentenced on October 17.
Ex-USC assistant soccer coach Laura Janke pleads guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for creating fake athletic profiles for college applicants. One of those fake profiles was for Olivia Jade, the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin, prosecutors say. https://t.co/d8N4dkGDUe
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) May 14, 2019
Significant to Loughlin’s case is the fact that Janke also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, which means she could testify against the actress — and others — who have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.
Loughlin and her husband are accused of paying one of Rick Singer’s non-profits $500,000 to get their daughters admitted to the college.
Prosecutors said that Singer sent an email to Janke in July of 2017 with instructions to prepare the profile for Loughlin’s daughter. Janke reportedly replied to the email, asking for the pertinent information in order to get started.
USA Today reported that Singer then allegedly emailed Loughlin, asking for information to put in the profile, telling them it would falsely present her as a crew coxswain. He asked the couple for an “action photo” of their daughter, and Giannulli sent him a picture of his daughter on an indoor rowing machine.
When Singer sent Loughlin word that her daughter was accepted, he reportedly told her to “keep hush hush till [sic] March,” to which Loughlin allegedly replied, “Yes of course.”
Janke is the fourth coach to plead guilty in the case. On Monday, actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to paying to have her daughter’s SAT scores altered. USA Today reported that nine other parents have also agreed to plead guilty at future hearings.
Loughlin has reportedly claimed she didn’t know she was breaking the law when making the payments. Her court date is scheduled for June 3, per USA Today.