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Prosecutors urge judge to follow Loughlin, Giannulli plea agreement in admission scandal

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Posted at 2:04 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 17:04:47-04

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Prosecutors recommended Monday that a Boston judge accept the terms of the plea agreements for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, in which each would serve time behind bars for paying bribes to get their daughters admitted to USC as crew team recruits, even though neither played the sport.

The couple are to be sentenced Friday in Boston federal court for participating in the college admissions scandal.

If their plea deals are accepted, Loughlin will serve two months in prison, pay a fine of $150,000, serve two years of supervised release and undertake 100 hours of community service.

Giannulli would serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.

Loughlin and Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to the mastermind of the scheme, corrupt college admissions counselor Rick Singer, to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, accepted into USC as fake crew recruits.

The actress pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while her husband pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.

As part of the scheme, Loughlin and Giannulli sent fake crew recruiting profiles to Singer that included bogus credentials, medals and photos of one of their daughters on a rowing machine. Neither daughter is now enrolled at USC.

"The crime Giannulli and Loughlin committed was serious," prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. "Over the course of two years, they engaged twice in Singer's fraudulent scheme. They involved both their daughters in the fraud, directing them to pose in staged photographs for use in fake athletic profiles and instructing one daughter how to conceal the scheme from her high school counselor."

According to the memo, evidence suggests Giannulli was the more active participant in the scheme.

"He engaged more frequently with Singer, directed the bribe payments to USC and Singer, and personally confronted his daughter's high school counselor to prevent the scheme from being discovered, brazenly lying about his daughter's athletic abilities," federal prosecutors wrote. "Loughlin took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit, eagerly enlisting Singer a second time for her younger daughter, and coaching her daughter not to `say too much' to her high school's legitimate college counselor, lest he catch onto their fraud."

More than 50 people have been charged in the scheme. Of 38 parents charged, 26 have pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from the two weeks given to "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman to a nine-month term imposed on Doug Hodge, former head of a Newport Beach-based bond management firm.

Huffman was released Oct. 25 from a low-security federal prison camp in Northern California 11 days into a 14-day sentence for paying to have a proctor correct her daughter's answers on a college-entrance exam.