Entertainment University scandal: actress Lori Loughlin pleads guilty
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American actress Lori Loughlin pleaded guilty to fraud on Friday as part of a large scandal of bribes paid by wealthy parents to guarantee the admission of their children to prestigious universities.
During a virtual hearing before a federal judge in Boston, the actress of "The house party" and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, who have denied any crime for months, have stoically respected the agreement announced the day before with the prosecutor: they pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent bank transfer.
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Under this agreement, the prosecutor has dropped two other counts and is expected to recommend a sentence of two months' imprisonment for the actress, 55, five months for her husband (56), and fines of $ 150,000 and $ 250,000 respectively.
Without agreement, a trial, scheduled for October, would have put them at risk of years in prison.
Federal prosecutors accused the actress and her husband of having paid $ 500,000 to an intermediary to guarantee the admission of their two daughters to the University of Southern California (USC).
Through the brain of the operation, William Singer, the two girls were presented as good recruits for the university rowing team, while they were not playing the sport.
Presented as a foundation, the organization of William Singer would have received a total of 25 million dollars from wealthy parents wishing to have their children admitted to prestigious universities such as Yale, Georgetown or Stanford.
Judge Refuses to Dismiss Charges Against Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli
Judge Refuses to Dismiss Charges Against Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli ’s Family Album A source told Us earlier this month that the couple were confident the judge would side with them, claiming prosecutors “withheld key evidence” that mastermind Rick Singer “was pressured by the FBI to lie in the course of his conversations” with Loughlin. “It was entrapment, misleading a defendant so that Rick could get a favorable sentence for his role. Rick was the mastermind in all of this,” the source said.
Most of the parents involved in this scandal have already pleaded guilty. Among them, the other celebrity of the scandal, actress Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives"), sentenced to two weeks in prison, who finally spent 11 days behind bars in October.
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli's sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 21. It is unknown if it will be virtual again.
Friday's audience, on the Zoom platform, was interspersed with small technical problems, the participants having a little trouble with the "Mute" function of the software.
With the pandemic, some 2,500 federal prisoners were released to finish serving their sentence at home. It is unknown at this time if this could be the case for the Loughlin-Giannulli couple.
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Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli Are 'Disappointed' They Won't Be Sentenced Until August .
The Full House star and her husband wanted to face the judge in early July, but the judge set a sentencing date for August 21 . "They're disappointed," a legal source close to the couple tells PEOPLE. "The whole point of this was to put this behind them, and they wanted the hearing sooner rather than later." On May 22, Loughlin, 55, confessed to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and one count of honest services wire and mail fraud.