HOLLYWOOD HILLS—After spending two months in jail for paying thousands of dollars in college bribes for her two daughters, “Full House” and “Fuller House” actress Lori Loughlin completed her prison sentence on Monday, December 28 in Dublin, California.
Early in March 2019, 50 people in different states, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, were charged with a wide range counts of fraud and corruption. Coaches, consultants, test administrators, and parents were implicated in faking test scores or racketeering conspiracy. The FBI led a months long sting operation called Operation Varsity Blues where they were able to identity and implicate individuals in a widespread rig of college admissions.
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli paid a total of $500,000 in bribes to athletic recruits of a crew team in order to get their daughters, Olivia and Isabella, admitted into the University of Southern California. Loughlin and Giannulli were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
The non-profit college-prep Key World Wide Foundation, between 2011 to 2018, received a total of $25 million in charitable donations, alleged to be bribes, by wealthy parents to founder William Rick Singer making this the largest college admissions scam to be prosecuted by the Justice Department according to US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling of the District of Massachusetts. Parents used the donation guise as a tax deduction.
Most clients paid Singer between $250,000 and $450,000 per student with some paying as much as $6.5 million Lelling noted during a press conference on March 12, 2019.
It is believed Singer sold two types of fraud: cheating for students on SAT/ACT by using his connections with Division 1 coaches to create fake test scores and using bribes to get parent’s kids into schools with fake athletic credentials that falsely portrayed them as competitive athletic recruits. Coaches were allotted slots for recruitment and allegedly accepted bribes by Singer to accept fake athletic credentials to convince everyone else internally that this was a good recruit for the team and to be admitted. In some instances, student’s faces were photoshopped onto other athletes bodies and students were allowed more time to take the tests by faking a disability.
Loughlin was given a two-month prison sentence that she started on October 30, 2020. Her husband is currently serving a five-month sentence near Santa Barbara with an estimated release date sometime in April 2021.
Loughlin is one of more than a dozen parents to rig the college admissions system for their children to be admitted to elite universities like Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas, UCLA and Wake Forest. Actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison on September 11, 2020.
Written By Kelvin Portillo and Donald Roberts