Are the cases against Lori Loughlin and others collapsing?

Are the cases against Lori Loughlin and others collapsing?
© Getty Images

I have no involvement with these cases, nor have I ever communicated with any of the three. I was chief of staff for Chief Justice Warren Burger for many years, and from that comes my deep interest in truth and justice.

McGlashan case 

I focus on four aspects of this case.

ADVERTISEMENT

One, McGlashan’s son was diagnosed with dyslexia, yet achieved a 34 on his ACT, which is the 99th percentile. It is therefore suspected that someone corrected the son’s test or took it in his place. Not so.

Dyslexia is my ballpark. I was a professor of English for 27 years and worked with many dyslexic students. While very slow readers, they could be exceptionally bright and articulate. The son took the ACT a second time after the scandal became public and scored 33, in the 98th percentile.

Two, the government accused McGlashan of sending a picture of his son dressed in a “football uniform.” But the government now admits that the picture showed his son dressed in a “white T-shirt and shorts.”

Rick Singer apparently offered McGlashan the “side door’ scheme — which McGlashan rejected.

Singer and other parents evidently used the false athlete scheme, but documents reluctantly released by the government plainly show that McGlashan resisted Singer’s “side door,” choosing instead to use his legitimate connections to increase his son’s chances of admission. Worse yet, says defense counsel, the U.S Attorney knew this when McGlashan was charged with the side door scheme.

Four, McGlashan is accused of paying Singer’s charity $50,000. Why? It could be because the singer was a highly regarded college counselor at the time, including for his work with disadvantaged youth, and McGlashan regularly donated large sums to charitable causes.

ADVERTISEMENT

The U. S. Attorney alleges that this $50,000 payment was to have the son’s test scores altered, which the son has subsequently shown he is capable of achieving on his own.

McGlashan, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, did not understand the extent of Singer’s devious schemes until later.

In fact, before the donation, McGlashan asked Schwab Charitable to independently vet and approve the bona fides of the charitable credentials of Singer’s foundation.

McGlashan has filed a discovery motion for the release of possibly exculpatory evidence, which the government does not want to do.

Loughlin/Giannulli case 

Recently defense strategy leaks have emerged about this case. They could have come from the family or a publicity firm or the legal team. There are four aspects of these disclosures worth noting.

One, Giannulli apparently sent a check for $50,000 to the senior associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel. This was not a bribe to an athletic coach to get the daughters admitted as athletes: rather the payee of the check was the University of Southern California. The university encourages such donations.

Two, Singer allegedly made monthly payments of $20,000 to Heinel, payable to USC, according to the court documents. The critical point here is that these monthly payments began after the two daughters had been accepted at the university. Loughlin said long ago that she thought the payments were donations to the university.

Three, Loughlin and Giannulli say they never submitted fake rowing photos of the two daughters. Recall that in the McGlashan case, the government said that McGlashan sent a picture of his son to USC in a “football uniform,” a statement the government later retracted.

Four, the defense lawyer is the high-profile attorney Sean M. Berkowitz, a former director of the Department of Justice’s Enron Task Force, now of Latham & Watkins, LLP.

I can’t help here but recall the warnings of the attorney general and later Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson to a gathering of U. S. Attorneys:

 — “The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America.”

 — "The prosecutor can order arrests, present cases...based on his one-sided presentation of the facts.”

 — “While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst.”

 — The prosecutor has “immense power to strike at citizens, not with mere individual strength, but with all the force of government itself.”

 — “Any prosecutor who risks his day-to-day professional name for fair dealing to build up statistics of success has a perverted sense of practical values, as well as defects of character.”

I cannot of course divine how the adjudications of the court hearings on Loughlin, Giannulli, and McGlashan will turn out, but it is a least conceivable to me that one or two or three of them will be exonerated.

Ronald L. Trowbridge, Ph. D. is a former chief of staff for Chief Justice Warren Burger.