Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were only dealt with a setback in their legal case after a judge refused to dismiss charges against the couple as well as other prominent parents accused of cheating on the college admissions process, who claimed they had been trapped by the federal authorities.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton denied the defense’s request to throw the charge over claims of FBI agents’ harassment. The judge also refused their request to block investigators from putting out other illegally captured phone calls at trial.
Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 56, are set to go on court in October on claims they paid $500,000 on hire their daughters as crew recruits at the University of Southern California, even though neither child was a rower. They refused bribery and claimed that they thought their donations were legal gifts.
An unnamed source close to Loughlin and Giannulli was claimed to have assumed earlier this week that the suspected wrongdoing on the part of federal prosecutors would eventually lead to the case being dropped.
Lori’s lawyers feel they have a very strong chance of having the charges dismissed because prosecutors withheld key
evidence that Rick Singer was pressured by the FBI to lie in the course of his conversations with Lori,” the source explained to Us Weekly. “It was entrapment, misleading a defendant so that Rick could get a favorable sentence for his role. Rick was the mastermind in all of this.”
Lawyers for the famous couple argued that the whole case should be thrown out after Singer’s notes apparently showed that agents had urged him to lie to involve parents such as Loughlin and Giannulli in committing a criminal act.
The defense of the pair also argued that this testimony was suppressed by the prosecutors for fear it exonerated their clients. At the time, however, Variety reported that the prosecution denied both that it acted in bad faith in a new April 8 court filing and that the evidence is exonerating at all.
Meanwhile, the investigators in the case refuted Singer’s attempt to lie and said they had told him to be more transparent for prospective clients who had not already passed the bribery scheme along.
Moreover, given what Singer wrote in his letters, the defense claimed that, when he published what he did, he had not yet completely accepted blame for his crimes. It also argued that a crime still occurred regardless of whether the money was called a “donation” or a “bribe.”
Singer pled guilty at the hearings and is supposed to be a key witness. In September 2018, he started cooperating with prosecutors and illegally registered his phone calls with parents in order to develop the case against them.
Loughlin and Giannulli earlier pleaded not guilty to the increased bribery charges filed against them in October 2019 along with nine other parents in the case.
The fraud penalty for committing bribes on the federal system carries a potential term of up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000. The pair have recently been hit with accusations of money laundering and bribery that, if convicted of any of them, could put them 40 years behind bars.