Attorney Brad Bailey was featured in a New York Daily News article titled, “Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli hit with new bribery charges in college admissions bribery scandal” on October 22, 2019. Although he is not involved in the “Varsity Blues” case, Attorney Bailey is a former federal prosecutor in Massachusetts and understands how the federal grand jury handles complex white-collar crimes.
According to the Daily News story, the “Full House” star, her fashion designer husband, and nine other parents were accused of committing federal programs bribery on top of the money-laundering and wire fraud charges already filed against them, increasing their chances of serving lengthy prison sentences.
“The government is ratcheting up the stakes the closer we get to trial in order to attempt to force people to wave the white flag,” said Attorney Bailey in the article. “The feds are playing hardball.”
The details of the new indictment include an email alleged sent in August 2016 by William “Rick” Singer, who allegedly orchestrated the college admissions scam. In the e-mail, Singer allegedly requested a copy of Loughlin and Giannulli’s oldest daughter’s test scores, transcripts, and a picture of her working out to fake that she is “a real athlete.” Giannulli then gleefully promised to obtain the information.
Although the new bribery charge is punishable by a maximum five-year prison sentence—less than the maximum 10-year terms for Loughlin’s previous charges—Attorney Bailey said federal prosecutors now have an opportunity to connect sentencing to the amount of money involved.
“I believe this is the government’s avenue to try to drive around the case precedent that found the money spent in this case does not represent either loss or gain,” he told The News. “It really could be a big-time hammer.”
Loughlin and other parents could’ve avoided the new bribery charges if they pleaded guilty to the initial charges like other parents, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to only 14 days in prison last month for paying $15,000 to change her daughter’s SAT score. Rather than serving up to 37 months in prison, Attorney Bradley said Loughlin could be sentenced up to 51 months or more upon conviction.
“It’s not unusual for prosecutors to reach out and say, ‘Look, fair warning, this is your last chance. If you don’t plead guilty, we’re going to supersede, and we’re going to be pushing for higher sentences,’” he said. “Looking at the new indictment, I’d say that’s how it played out.”
If you have been charged with a federal or white-collar crime in Boston, contact Brad Bailey Law today at (617) 500-0252 and request a confidential consultation to let our legal team determine your available legal options.