A new 526-page prosecution filing in the college admissions cheating case targets defence claims by Loughlin and Giannulli, who are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California in the guise of crew team members, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
Hundreds of pages of emails, transcripts of recorded calls and financial and academic records were filed Tuesday in response to claims that prosecutors withheld evidence favourable to the couple and the couple’s contention that they believed the money would go toward legitimate donations to USC.
Loughlin and Giannulli are among dozens of wealthy parents who were charged with participating in schemes organized by college admissions consultant William (Rick) Singer to bribe coaches and university insiders or cheat on entrance exams. The cases are being prosecuted in federal court in Boston.
The new documents show how Loughlin and Giannulli interacted with Singer and how the alleged scam worked for both of their daughters.
Multiple detailed emails show how Loughlin and Giannulli worked with Singer and his associates to create the fake athletic profiles for their daughters, who were pretending to be part of the rowing team, to get into USC.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric S. Rosen wrote that the couple “specifically rejected this `legitimate’ approach,” and pointed to emails exchanged between Giannulli and an official in USC’s development office, the Times reported.
The official, whose name was redacted in the documents, offered to “flag” the 2016 application by the fashion designer’s older daughter and asked if they could “be at all helpful in setting up a 1:1 opportunity for her, customized tour of campus for the family, and/or classroom visit.”
“Thanks so much, I think we are squared away,” Giannulli told the official.
He went on to forward the exchange to Loughlin and wrote: “The nicest I’ve been at blowing off somebody.”
Prosecutors allege that Giannulli had already been conspiring with Singer to pass their daughter off as an elite coxswain for the crew team.
An email from Singer to Giannulli had asked for “a picture with her on an ERG (rowing machine) in workout clothes like a real athlete.” Six days before the USC official’s email, Singer had said in an email to Giannulli: “Got it all. Profile is being made as a coxswain and USC is awaiting my packet with the transcript, test scores and profile.”
In one of the email exchanges, Singer asked for a different photo of the older Giannulli daughter for her falsified profile after he sent the original photo to former USC athletic department’s third-ranking administrator, Donna Heinel.
“Donna asked for a picture of her in a boat,” Singer wrote to one of his associates. “Is there a coxswain picture we can use that is tough to see the face since they are sitting online?”
The prosecution alleges Heinel soon after presented the couple’s daughter as a recruited coxswain to a USC admissions committee that approved her “based on falsified athletic credentials.”
Prosecutors say Giannulli and Loughlin wrote a $50,000 cheque to a USC account controlled by Heinel and wired $200,000 to Singer.
Giannulli and Loughlin are being accused of repeating the same process a year later for their younger daughter to get into USC.
The new documents show that in March 2018 several high schools contacted USC because they were confused about certain students that were being admitted as recruited athletes, the Times reports.
Marymount High School in Los Angeles, which Loughlin’s two daughters attended, “doesn’t think either of the students are serious crew participants,” a USC employee wrote in an email.
Heinel was asked to investigate after receiving the email from the USC employee and wrote the next day that the couple’s younger daughter rowed for a “competitive” club and the coach at USC “thinks she has talent.”
Heinel was arrested a year later and charged with scheming to sneak unqualified students into the university.
She has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering, fraud and bribery and her lawyer declined to comment on the latest filing.
Singer has pleaded guilty and agreed to work with investigators in hopes of receiving a more lenient sentence.
Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering and bribery.
Loughlin’s daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, are no longer enrolled at USC following the college admissions scandal.
The USC registrar confirmed to People that “Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli are not currently enrolled.”
The school would not confirm whether Loughlin’s daughters were expelled because of the college admissions scandal.
“We are unable to provide additional information because of student privacy laws,” the registrar said.
Olivia Jade, a social media influencer, came under scrutiny last March for a video she posted to YouTube before beginning her fall semester last year. The video has since been deleted.
In the video, Olivia Jade said she didn’t care about school and was just there to experience the “partying” and game days.
She also used her college experience as a branded advertising opportunity for companies such as Amazon Prime.
Olivia Jade has returned to her YouTube channel, posting two videos since the scandal began.
“Welcome back to my YouTube channel. Obviously, I’ve been gone for a really long time,” Olivia Jade says in the two-minute video, titled “hi again,” posted to her account, which has nearly two million subscribers.
She says she debated for months whether to return to her channel, which focused on fashion, beauty and video-diary entries about her life.
“I’m terrified to make this video and come back,” she says, “but I want to start taking smaller steps in the right direction.”
In the video, Olivia Jade says she stayed away from social media because she is legally prohibited from talking about the scandal, and it seemed pointless to appear and ignore it.
“If I can’t talk about it, is there a point in coming back and not being able to say anything?” she says.
It’s not clear what legal restrictions would keep her from speaking or whether attorneys have simply advised her not to do so.
“I actually really, really miss it,” she says. “I feel like a huge part of me is not the same because this is something that I’m really passionate about and something I really like to do. … I’m really excited to start filming again and start uploading again.”
On Dec. 17, she posted another YouTube video of her everyday routine.
“I thought it would be kind of a cute and fun video to do an everyday get ready with me. I’m going to show you guys my makeup and an outfit,” she says.
Olivia Jade goes through her makeup routine and then she picks out an outfit to wear in the video.
—With files from The Associated Press