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

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

Small fire extinguished at Thornhill community grounds

Camper destroyed and some trees burned

Tradition and technology: Nisga’a Elementary Secondary’s plan for grad

NESS joins other schools in northwest B.C. using video and streaming

What happens to a community garden during a pandemic?

Green Thumb Garden Society has made some changes, hopes for more volunteers and members

Firefighter drops eggs 65 ft. for kids’ science project

Elementary students attempt to determine ideal packaging to cushion eggs

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read