(BOSTON) — Lori Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to new charges in the Varsity Blues college admission scandal.
The new charge alleges that the parents defrauded an institution that receives federal funds, namely the University of Southern California, by bribing employees to get their kids in as athletic recruits. Federal prosecutors in Boston last month filed federal programs bribery charges certain parents, including Loughlin and Giannulli, who were already accused in the college admissions cheating scheme.
The new charge applies only to parents like Loughlin who have opted to plead not guilty to the initial indictment. Parents who have already pleaded guilty — like actress Felicity Huffman — or those who’ve agreed to plead guilty, have been spared the additional charge.
According to the court documents, Varsity Blues facilitator Rick Singer emailed Loughlin and Giannulli in August 2016 stating he needed a copy of their older daughter’s transcript and test scores, noting he’d build a phony profile for her as a member of UCLA’s crew rowing team.
In March 2017, Singer’s accountant emailed a $200,000 invoice to Giannulli and Loughlin. Giannulli reportedly forwarded the invoice to his own accountant for payment, writing, “Good news my daughter … is in [U]SC … bad is I had to work the system.”
After Singer began cooperating with law enforcement agents, he called Loughlin from Boston, MA in November 2018. During the monitored call, Singer told Loughlin his foundation was being audited by the IRS.
Singer said, in part: “…I have not told them anything about the girls going through the side door….all I told them was that you guys made a donation to our foundation to help undeserved kids.”
Loughlin replied, “Um-hmm.”
Loughlin and Giannulli could each receive a maximum 20-year prison sentence if convicted on all charges.
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