BEL AIR—On Thursday, May 21, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that celebrity couple Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli agreed to plead guilty in the 2019 College Admissions Bribery Scandal.
Loughlin is known for her role as Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis in the ABC sitcom “Full House,” while her Los Angeles-born husband Giannulli is the fashion designer who founded Mossimo, a clothing company.
The statement notes that the couple will plead guilty to “conspiracy charges in connection with securing the fraudulent admission of their two children to the University of Southern California as purported athletic recruits.”
In 2019, it was discovered that over 50 people scammed elite colleges into admitting their children. Federal prosecutors claimed that the scheme involved bribing entrance exam administrators to “facilitate cheating” on the assessments, bribing varsity coaches and administrators to classify “certain applicants as recruited athletes or other favored candidates,” and using the “facade of a charitable organization to conceal the nature and source of the bribe payments.”
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly agreed to pay a combined total of $500,000 to have their two daughters listed as recruits to the University of Southern California (USC) crew team, enabling their admission to the school. Neither child participated in crew.
The USC Registrar told People in October last year that the two women, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli, “are not currently enrolled” in the school. The institution would not confirm whether they were expelled because of the scandal, and stated that “we are unable to provide additional information because of student privacy laws.”
The couple, who will be the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the case, will do so before the U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 22.
Both face charges of “conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud; conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery; [and] conspiracy to commit money laundering.”
In Loughlin’s plea deal, all parties have agreed to a two-month prison sentence, a $150,000 fine, and two years of supervised release with 100 community service hours. In Giannulli’s case, he agreed to a five-month prison sentence, a $250,000 fine, and two years of supervised released with 250 community service hours. Both prison sentences are subject to court approval. Both Loughlin’s plea agreement here, and Giannulli’s can be viewed here.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions.”