“Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion-designer husband Mossimo Giannulli both pled guilty to conspiracy charges for their involvement in the college admissions scam, also known as “Operation Varsity Blues.” Both were accused of paying half a million dollars to get their two daughters accepted into the University of Southern California (USC) under crew team scholarships, even though they did not have any previous crew experience.
Loughlin plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. If the sentence jointly recommended by the prosecutor and her lawyers is accepted, she will serve two months in prison and be fined up to $100,000, as well as face two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service.
Giannulli plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and honest services fraud. The joint recommendation calls for him to be imprisoned five months, fined up to $250,000, serve 250 hours of community service, and be subject to two years of supervised release.
According to Brad Bailey, “because this is an 11 (c)(1)(C ) plea, it is accepted conditionally, pending a report from US Probation. If after reading the report---which should be completed in 8-12 weeks---the judge agrees with the jointly recommended sentences, he will impose them. If he disagrees, he can suggest a different sentence which the parties can accept or, unlike the way most pleas are taken, reject. If he does not accept the recommendation and the alternative sentence he proposes is not accepted, the guilty pleas are deemed withdrawn and the case will proceed to trial”.
Both Loughlin and Giannulli had previously faced three conspiracy charges each for participating in a scheme to undermine the extremely competitive college admissions process. They also faced money laundering and bribery charges, which significantly increased their sentencing exposure. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, those charges will be dismissed at the time of sentencing. Under the facts alleged in this case, Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the operation, and a USC official were allegedly paid $500,000 to create an athletic profile of Loughlin and Giannulli's daughters – using pictures where they posed on indoor rowing machines – and help them get into the school.
If Loughlin and Giannulli had decided to take their case to trial, a conviction for one conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum 20-year prison term, which Brad Bailey says “in this case, time will almost certainly be served at a minimum security facility or a federal prison camp given the relative brevity of the jointly recommended sentences, the non-violent nature of the charges, and the fact that both defendants will be allowed to self-report to their designated facility, in this case ( as agreed to by prosecutors) up to 90 days after sentencing.” The couple’s daughters are no longer students at USC.
At Brad Bailey Law, we have nearly four decades of experience defending clients facing federal, white collar, or serious state charges in Massachusetts and New York. Attorney Brad Bailey is a Harvard-educated former state and federal prosecutor who has helped thousands of clients in state criminal court and more than 350 federal cases. With more than 100 superior court and federal cases handled, we understand what it takes to get the best possible outcome in the most serious cases.
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