Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded not guilty in Boston Friday to new bribery charges filed against them in the college admissions scandal, according to federal court documents.
Loughlin and Giannulli, a fashion designer, were among 11 parents charged last week in an indictment returned by a grand jury in Boston, which alleges they conspired with William “Rick” Singer, a Newport Beach consultant, to commit not just fraud and money laundering, but federal program bribery as well to secure their children’s fraudulent admissions to USC.
Prosecutors had previously warned the defendants they would face more charges if they didn’t plead guilty.
Those parents are now charged with conspiring to commit fraud, money laundering and federal program bribery.
While the indictments don’t allege new criminal acts, they do contain details of Singer’s interactions with parents that weren’t previously known. In the case of Loughlin and Giannulli, the indictment says, the fashion designer emailed his accountant in April 2017 to explain a $200,000 invoice he’d received from Singer, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The couple paid $250,000 in all to misrepresent their older daughter as a recruited coxswain and bribe Heinel, the athletics official, to slip her into the school, prosecutors allege.
“Good news my daughter … is in [U]SC,” Giannulli wrote to his accountant, according to the indictment. “Bad is I had to work the system.”
Another celebrity ensnared in the scandal, Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman, who has expressed contrition for her role in the scandal, was released on Oct. 25 from a low-security federal prison camp in Northern California 11 days into a 14-day sentence for her part in the scam.
Huffman, 56, was sentenced to the prison time in September. She was also ordered to spend a year on supervised release, pay a $30,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service.
The “Desperate Housewives” actress pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud for paying a $15,000 bribe to have a proctor correct her daughter’s answers on a college-entrance exam. She was the first parent to be sentenced in connection with the wide-ranging college-admissions cheating scandal, a probe dubbed “Varsity Blues.”
Huffman was set to be released from prison two days later, a Sunday, but was allowed to leave Friday as a result of normal policy for inmates who are due to be released on weekends, officials said.
“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges in the scandal.
Dozens of parents and college athletic coaches were implicated in the 52-defendant nationwide bribery scandal, in which wealthy parents paid Newport Beach businessman William “Rick” Singer thousands of dollars to have their children’s entrance-exam scores doctored. In other cases, students were falsely admitted to elite universities as athletic recruits, even though they never had any experience in the sports for which they were being recruited.