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Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli Pleading Not Guilty In College Bribery Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are among several parents pleading not guilty in the college admissions bribery scandal.

Lori Loughlin Appear In Federal Court To Answer Charges Stemming From College Admissions Scandal
Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli (green tie) exit the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse after appearing in Federal Court to answer charges stemming from college admissions scandal on April 3, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

The 54-year-old Loughlin and the 55-year-old Giannulli -- founder of the Mossimo clothing line -- said in court documents filed Monday they are waiving their right to appear in court for an arraignment and plead not guilty.

Last week, the Justice Department announced it was bringing new money laundering charges against Loughlin, Mossimo and 14 other parents in the college admissions scandal.

Loughlin and Giannulli are now charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit money laundering. This is on top of the previous two counts they each face of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Mail fraud and honest services mail fraud come with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Money laundering also comes with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither ever rowed crew. Both daughters are still enrolled at USC, but have not attended class since the scandal broke.

Although Loughlin and Giannulli are fighting the charges, several parents have already said they will plead guilty in the case. On April 8, fellow actress Felicity Huffman was one of 13 parents and one coach who announced they will plead guilty. Huffman is confessing to paying a $15,000 bribe in the form of a donation to help her oldest daughter cheat on the SAT.

Among the group pleading guilty was Bruce Isackson and his wife Davina Isackson, who are confessing to paying bribes in order to get their two daughters admitted to UCLA and USC as student athletes. One of their daughters, Lauren Isackson, actually played on UCLA's practice squad. The other was admitted to USC as a member of the crew team even though she had never rowed.

On March 12, the FBI charged 50 people — including 33 parents and nine coaches — in a massive bribery scheme in which wealthy families paid millions to a Newport Beach businessman named Rick Singer to help their children cheat on standardized tests and bribe test administrators and college coaches to help get their kids into top universities like UCLA, USC, Yale, Stanford and Georgetown.

Parents charged in the alleged scheme are accused of paying Singer a total of $25 million between 2011 and February 2019 for the arrangement. Along with bribing test administrators and college coaches, Singer used some of that money to create fake athletic profiles to help get students admitted into athletic programs.

Loughlin and Giannulli are both free on $1 million bond. They have yet to publicly address the allegations against them.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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