In the case of college admissions controversy, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have formally changed their plea from not guilty to guilty, following an arrangement that will see them serve time in jail.
After a plea agreement was announced on Thursday, the famous couple, who have maintained their innocence for more than a year after being among the many parents swept up in the high profile scandal, appeared virtually in a Massachusetts court on Friday.
While the pair formally pled guilty, the court neither refused nor approved the conditions of their plea deal, stating that after examining the pre-sentencing records, they would make an final judgment. The couple is scheduled to receive official sentencing on 21st August at 2:30 p.m. Loughlin and 11:00 a.m. for Giannulli.
Loughlin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and to honest services wire and mail fraud.
In the conditions of their deal, Loughlin will complete two months and incur a penalty of $150,000 along with two years of supervised probation and 100 hours of community service. Meanwhile Giannulli will be serving five months in jail, paying a fine of $250,000 with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service.
The couple has been credited with negotiating a cumulative joint payment of $500,000 for Singer to have their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, recruited as athletes on the crew team at the University of Southern California (USC), despite never participating in the sport.
As of Friday’s court appearance, the 23rd and 24th parents pleaded guilty to the College Admissions scandal that came to light last year and saw parents pay large sums to mastermind William “Rick” Singer to get their children to school of their choice through various allegedly fraudulent means.
“Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case. We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions,” United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement Thursday.
Loughlin and Giannulli have earlier pled not guilty to expanded allegations of fraud brought against them in October along with 11 other parents who had been swept up by the controversy.
The bribery allegations are subject to a possible term of up to five years in jail and a penalty of up to $250,000. The pair are both charged with money trafficking and conspiratorial allegations that carry a maximum penalty of 40 years if convicted of any of them.
Ex “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman is among parents who have also pled guilty in the trial. She served nearly two weeks in jail after admitting to paying $15,000 to get somebody to correct answers to her daughter’s entrance exam.