Lori Loughlin and her husband joked about snubbing ‘legitimate approach’ to get daughter into USC – The Sun

LORI Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli joked about shunning the legitimate approach to get their daughter into the University of Southern California, prosecutors say.

The pair are among more than 50 people to have been indicted as part of Operation Varsity Blues, an investigation into alleged attempts to use bribery to influence college admissions.


Among court documents released by federal prosecutors is an e-mail sent by Giannulli to Loughlin in September 2016.

The message appears to show the pair joking about not needing the help of a USC official who had offered to look over a college application by their eldest daughter, 21-year-old Bella Rose Giannulli.

Giannulli alleged told the official, "I think we are squared away", before recounting the conversation to his wife and saying: "The nicest I've been about blowing off somebody."

Operation Varsity Blues is the largest case of its kind ever prosecuted by the US Department of Justice

Loughlin and Giannulli are alleged to have paid a man named William "Rick" Singer $500,000 to have their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, registered as recruits to USC's crew team, despite neither of the girls ever having rowed.

Documents released earlier show e-mail exchanges between Singer and Giannulli in which Singer reportedly said he would "create a coxswain profile" for one of the daughters.

The documents state Singer also offered advise about how to make the profile seem authentic.

"It would probably help to get a picture with her on an ERG [an indoor rowing machine] in workout clothes like a real athlete too," he reportedly wrote.

Giannulli is alleged to have replied, copying Loughlin, and said: "Fantastic. Will get all."

Singer has admitted controlling a scheme that helped over 750 families unethically gain college admission for their children and is cooperating with an FBI investigation.

'APPROACH NOT LEGITIMATE'

Court documents state Loughlin and Giannulli have argued that "universities — as part of their legitimate admissions process — regularly solicit donations from the families of prospective students, and … such donations can have a material effect on admissions decisions."

Prosecutors say "the exculpatory evidence the defendants purport to seek simply does not exist" and that the couple are "relying on a sanitized renditions of the facts."

Loughlin and Giannulli currently faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

A trial date is yet to be confirmed, but further "status conference" hearings are scheduled for January 17 and next month.

If convicted, they reportedly each face 20 years in prison.

Loughlin is an actress and model best known for her role as Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis in the ABC sitcom Full House and its Netflix sequel Fuller House.

Giannulli is a fashion designer who in 1986 founded Mossimo, a clothing company specialising in youth and teenage clothing.



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