Last Friday, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli appeared (via video link) in a federal court in Boston to plead guilty to a few of the charges in the Operation Varsity Blues case. Lori and Mossimo were the two most high-profile parents who refused to take a proffered plea deal last year. Lori seemed convinced that she could simply leak wholesome stories to People Magazine and magically convince people that she was completely innocent. It looks like federal prosecutors went to Lori and Mossimo again and offered them another plea deal. They took it this time. So this is the deal they worked out, complete with sentencing recommendations from the DOJ:
More than a year after rejecting a plea deal from federal prosecutors, actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, appeared before a federal judge via video conference Friday to plead guilty to charges stemming from the college admissions cheating scandal. However, the judge said he couldn’t accept the pleas until he sees their pre-sentencing reports from the Massachusetts Probation Service.
Loughlin, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud while Giannulli, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. The couple were the 23rd and 24th parents to admit guilt in the college admissions scandal. During Friday’s hearing, Loughlin rocked side-to-side, occasionally speaking with her lawyer and looking out the window.
Under the terms of the plea agreements, Loughlin will serve two months behind bars and Giannulli agreed to serve five months. The judge scheduled the sentencing hearing for the couple for Aug. 21. In addition, Loughlin was ordered to pay a $150,000 fine and was placed on two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service. Giannulli has to pay a $250,000 fine. He, too, will be on two years of supervised release and must complete 250 hours of community service.
Prosecutors dismissed charges of money laundering and federal programs bribery that were added after the case was initially filed. Had they gone to trial and been convicted, each faced up to 20 years in prison for each charge against them.
People Magazine spoke to someone in Lori’s camp about why they finally decided to make a deal, and that source said: “This was a now or never deal. It was presented as the last clear chance for them to plead before going to trial, and they knew that if they were found guilty, they were realistically looking at more than a year behind bars, probably more like three or four.” I mean, if convicted of just some of the charges, they would have actually faced 10 or 20 years in prison. I would have taken the deal too. Of course, I would never cheat the system to get a kid into college, so there’s that too. As for the sentencing hearing, which isn’t until August, I would hope that all of that means that Lori and Mossimo will actually serve their full sentences and not be released in a matter of days because of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, People Mag also did a sympathetic piece on Lori’s scamming daughters Olivia Jade and Bella:
A legal insider tells PEOPLE that their daughters Olivia Jade, 20, and Bella, 21, are behind their parents’ decision. “I know that the girls have been very supportive of their parents throughout this whole ordeal and just want them to be happy,” the insider says. “They realize that this was done to help them, and there is no animosity there. Last I knew, they were encouraging their parents to fight this, but obviously that’s all changed now.”
A second source confirms that the whole family is on the same page. “Olivia and Bella also want it to be over. They agree the plea is the best option,” the source explains. “Lori and Mossimo want to be able to enjoy their lives again. They want to enjoy it with Olivia and Bella. They don’t feel like they gave up by accepting a plea — they are doing what’s best for their family.”
LOL, why would Olivia and Bella have animosity towards their parents at all? Why even bring that up? The whole family worked together to scam USC’s college admissions process and only Lori and Mossimo were charged. GMAFB.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red and Backgrid.
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