Loughlin, husband and 14 more parents face new charge in U.S. college bribery scam

One count of money laundering conspiracy added, on top of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud

Actress Lori Loughlin, front, and husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, left, depart federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

“Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were hit Tuesday with a new charge in the sweeping college admissions bribery scheme.

The move comes a day after fellow actress Felicity Huffman, 12 other parents and a coach agreed to plead guilty — signalling an escalation in the case against the parents who are continuing to fight the allegations against them.

Loughlin and Giannulli were among 33 prominent parents accused of participating in a scheme that involved rigging college entrance exams and bribing coaches at elite universities.

They were arrested last month on a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. An indictment brought Tuesday adds a charge of money laundering conspiracy against the couple and 14 other parents.

Amy and Gregory Colburn, a California couple accused of paying $25,000 to cheat on their son’s SAT, were indicted on the money laundering and mail fraud conspiracy charges last month.

READ MORE: B.C. businessman David Sidoo pleads not guilty in U.S. college bribery case

The parents are accused of paying an admissions consultant, Rick Singer, to cheat on their children’s college entrance exams and get their children admitted as athletic recruits at such elite schools as Georgetown and Yale.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of them played the sport.

They appeared in Boston federal court briefly last week and were not asked to enter a plea. They have not publicly addressed the allegations against them.

Other parents indicted on the new charge Tuesday include Michelle Janavs, whose family developed the microwave snack line Hot Pockets before selling their company, and William McGlashan, who co-founded an investment fund with U2’s Bono in 2017.

Huffman, the 56-year-old Emmy-winner who stared in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” was accused of paying $15,000 disguised as a charitable donation to have a proctor correct the answers on her daughter’s SAT. She and the 12 other parents agreed to plead guilty Monday to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Prosecutors say they will seek a prison sentence that’s on the low end of between four and 10 months for Huffman.

In her first public comments since her arrest, Huffman took responsibility for her actions and said she would accept the consequences.

“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty,” she said after her plea deal was announced.

Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

The Hilton family pledged $50,000 toward a matched fund. If fully matched, it will raise $100,000

Local woman makes face masks to raise funds for LRCA Food Bank

Cheryl Lowrence made 30 face masks and raised $326.25 for the food bank

Ladysmith family creates music video to show appreciation for community in the face of COVID-19

Sheila Richards, 77 is the star of new music video celebrating community kindness in Ladysmith

Burning complaints prompt regulation reminder from North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department

NOVFD has responded to at least 10 burning complaints in since April 1

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

CVRD testing Shawnigan water after complaints of metallic taste, odour

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past”

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Most Read