Lori Loughlin and husband to plead guilty to fraud in college admissions scandal

Lori Loughlin and husband to plead guilty to fraud in college admissions scandal
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Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband will plead guilty to fraud in connection with the college admissions scandal after maintaining their innocence for more than a year, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday, citing a federal court filing.

Federal prosecutors alleged Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, paid California-based consultant William “Rick” Singer $500,000 to ensure their two daughters were admitted to the University of Southern California fraudulently as rowing recruits.

Both have previously claimed they were misled by Singer into believing the money they paid was a donation to the university rather than a bribe to individual faculty. Earlier in May, they alleged prosecutorial misconduct and moved to have their charges dismissed, which a judge refused.

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Under the agreement, the couple’s lawyers and federal prosecutors will agree to ask a judge to sentence Loughlin to two months in federal prison and Giannulli to five months, according to the Times, citing the plea agreement. Loughlin will also serve 100 hours of community service and pay $150,000, while Giannulli agreed to pay $250,000 and perform 250 hours.

Federal prosecutors will drop bribery and money laundering charges against the couple if U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton accepts the terms of the plea agreement.

“These defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case,” U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, whose deputies charged the case, said in a statement. “We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions.”

The couple was one of the final holdouts of those charged in the case, with others, including actress Felicity Huffman and former UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo, pleading guilty in connection with the scandal. Loughlin and Giannulli’s trial would have begun in October had they continued to maintain their innocence.