Loughlin, Giannulli plead not guilty in college scam

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Actress Lori Loughlin and husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, left, depart federal court in Boston after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. Loughlin and her husband said in court documents Monday they are pleading not guilty to charges.
Steven Senne ~ Associated Press

BOSTON -- Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are pleading not guilty to charges they took part in the sweeping college admissions bribery scam, according to court documents filed Monday.

Loughlin and Giannulli said they are waiving their right to appear in Boston federal court for their arraignment and plead not guilty to the two charges against them. The judge must approve their request for a waiver to appear.

The couple is charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither is a rower.

Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom "Full House," and Giannulli haven't publicly addressed the allegations against them.

They are among 50 people charged in the nationwide scam, which authorities say also involved rigging college entrance exam scores.

It's the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. The scandal embroiled elite universities across the country and laid bare the lengths to which status-seeking parents will go to secure their children a coveted spot.

The couple and more than a dozen other parents were hit last week with a money laundering conspiracy charge on top of the mail fraud conspiracy charge they were already facing. Several other indicted parents have also filed court documents entering not guilty pleas.

Fellow actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in ABC's "Desperate Housewives," and 12 other parents have agreed to plead guilty. Huffman is scheduled to appear May 21 in Boston to enter her plea.

Rick Singer, the consultant at the center of the scheme, pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy on March 12, the same day the allegations against the parents and coaches were made public in the so-called Operations Varsity Blues investigation.

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