Lori Loughlin charged with new count of money laundering in 2nd indictment over alleged college bribery
Full House star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were among 16 parents who were hit with a new charge on Tuesday in the sweeping college admissions bribery scheme.
Loughlin and Giannulli were among 33 prominent parents accused of participating in a scheme that involved rigging college entrance exams and bribing coaches at elite universities.
The two were arrested last month on a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. An indictment brought on Tuesday adds a charge of money laundering conspiracy against the couple and 14 other parents.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts made the announcement on Tuesday, saying, “Sixteen parents involved in the college admissions scandal were charged today in Boston in a second superseding indictment with conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to use bribery to cheat on college entrance exams and to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities as purported athletic recruits.”
“The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering,” the Attorney’s Office said.
This comes a day after fellow actress Felicity Huffman, 12 other parents and a coach agreed to plead guilty, signalling an escalation in the case against the parents who are continuing to fight the allegations against them.
Amy and Gregory Colburn, a California couple accused of paying $25,000 to cheat on their son’s SAT, were indicted on money laundering and mail fraud conspiracy charges last month.
The parents are accused of paying an admissions consultant, Rick Singer, to cheat on their children’s college entrance exams and get their children admitted as athletic recruits at such elite schools as Georgetown and Yale.
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of them participated in the sport.
They appeared in Boston federal court briefly last week and were not asked to enter a plea. They have not publicly addressed the allegations against them.
WATCH: Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman leave court after appearing on charges related to college scam
Other parents indicted on the new charge Tuesday include Michelle Janavs, whose family developed the Hot Pockets microwave snack line before selling the company, and William McGlashan, who co-founded an investment fund with U2’s Bono in 2017.
Huffman, who starred in Desperate Housewives, was accused of paying $15,000 disguised as a charitable donation to have a proctor correct the answers on her daughter’s SAT. She and 12 other parents agreed to plead guilty Monday to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
WATCH: Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scandal
Prosecutors say they will seek a prison sentence that’s on the low end of between four and 10 months for Huffman.
In her first public comments since her arrest, Huffman took responsibility for her actions and said she would accept the consequences.
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty,” she said in a statement after her plea deal was announced.
Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli were enrolled at the University of Southern California, but there were reports that the sisters withdrew from classes after their mother and father were indicted in the admissions scandal.
The school released a statement on April 8 titled “USC Information on College Admissions Issue.”
“USC has placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme,” the college said.
“This prevents the students from registering for classes (until they have agreed to participate in the review of their case), withdrawing from the university or acquiring transcripts while their cases are under review. Among many factors investigators could consider in reviewing each case are any developments in the criminal cases, including plea deals by parents. Following these case-by-case reviews, we will take the proper action related to each student’s status, up to revoking admission or expulsion.”
It’s unclear whether Olivia Jade or Isabella were attending classes or not.
—With files from the Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.