The long awaited indictment of two of the highest-profile defendants in the college admissions scandal concluded today with the sentencing of actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.
Varsity Blues was a federal investigation revolving around admissions fraud in top universities, which resulted in the indictments of wealthy parents, higher education consultants, college admissions staff and coaches.
Among the many who were caught were Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion mogul husband, Mossimo Giannulli. The pair bribed William Rick Singer, a Newport Beach consultant for higher education with $500,000 to guarantee their daughters’, Isabella and Olivia admissions as crew recruits in the University of Southern California, despite never partaking in the sport.
The relationship Loughlin and Giannulli developed with Singer did not start out with illegal dealings. The parents were genuinely concerned their daughters would end up studying in lower ranking colleges, so they hired Singer to help them navigate the college admissions system, which included preparing for the SAT and working on applications.
The LA Times reported in “Admissions scandal: Lori Loughlin sentenced to 2 months in prison; Giannulli gets 5 months,” that in the government’s account and an FBI agent’s affidavit, Giannulli and Loughlin’s activity with Singer did not turn criminal until April 2016.
Things took a turn for the worst, when Giannulli’s concern grew after speaking with his oldest daughter’s high school counselor and realizing her choices came down to “low rankings” colleges based on her overall application materials.
After various email exchanges between the designer and Singer they decided on a different path to get her daughter in one of California’s top universities. He proceeded to “donate” money to Singer, who then paid off an administrator sitting on the USC board of admission to “vouch” for the girl’s fake credentials as coxswain — the member of a rowing team that guides the boat. To make it more believable, Singer asked Giannulli to get photos of his daughter posing as a real athlete on an ergometer.
Despite the red flag they received from their younger daughter’s high school counselor – questioning the validity of her USC application as a member of the crew team, they proceed to work with Singer on getting her into USC as a coxswain.
After fighting the feds for over a year to prove their innocents, the duo had to enter a plea deal to avoid the 40- year sentence that was being speculated upon by the media based on previous similar cases.
In May 2020, Giannulli agreed to plea guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud, and Loughlin agreed to plea guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, according to the United States Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts.
The Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Nathaniel M. Gorton described Loughlin during her virtual trial as “an admired, successful, professional actor with two healthy children, a longstanding marriage and more money than you could possibly need,” LA Times reported.
In a sentencing memo obtained by various media outlets on Monday, Aug. 17 the prosecutor asked the presiding judge to accept the terms of the plea agreements Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli had agreed to back in May 2020.
The deal outlined that Loughlin would serve two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine, complete 100 hours of community service and serve two years of supervised release. Her husband, Giannulli, serving and paying twice as much, agreed to serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.
Mossimo Giannulli sentenced in #CollegeAdmissionsScandal to 5 months in prison, 2 years of supervised release during which time he must complete 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay a fine of $250,000
— U.S. Attorney MA (@DMAnews1) August 21, 2020
The U.S. Attorney’s Office decided to give Loughlin a much lighter sentence than her husband, because she was not as involved 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,” the prosecutors said of Giannulli’s involvement, CNN reported.
Now that the trial has come to an end, Loughlin and Giannulli will have to turn themselves in on Nov. 19.
So what do you think, did they get a fair sentencing? Will Olivia Jade come back to YouTube now that this is all over? Let us know in a comment or tweet us @whatstrending!