Prosecutors deny allegations of withheld, fabricated evidence in college admissions case

Prosecutors deny allegations of withheld, fabricated evidence in college admissions case
© Getty Images

Federal prosecutors denied in a court filing Wednesday allegations that they deliberately withheld or fabricated evidence in their prosecution of parents involved in the college admissions scandal.

The Associated Press reported that a court filing by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Frank denied claims from parents and defense attorneys involved in the case that the prosecution deliberately withheld notes made by the middleman in the scheme, Rick Singer, from defense attorneys detailing his conversations with FBI agents.

“Criminal defendants are entitled to a vigorous defense. But making baseless claims that evidence was fabricated to frame innocent parties goes too far,” Frank wrote in the court filing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Defense attorneys had asserted in a motion to dismiss the case against actress Lori Loughlin and others in late March that FBI agents forced Singer to lie to parents about having referred to their payments as "bribes" and hid notes detailing those lies from defense attorneys until February.

“The extraordinary government misconduct presented in this case threatens grave harm to defendants and the integrity of this proceeding. That misconduct cannot be ignored,” attorneys representing multiple parents wrote in March.

“For government agents to coerce an informant into lying on recorded calls to generate false inculpatory evidence against investigative targets—and to then knowingly prosecute those targets using that false evidence—is governmental malfeasance of the worst kind,” they added.

Loughlin and other parents are set to go to trial on charges of bribing admissions officials to get their children into U.S. schools such as the University of Southern California, in Loughlin's case. Actress Felicty Huffman plead guilty to related charges last year and spent 14 days in prison as her sentence.