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Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli plead not guilty in college bribery scandal

15 April 2019

Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have pleaded not guilty on two conspiracy charges in the college admissions scandal, according to The Associated Press. Prosecutors say she and Giannulli paid $500,000 to a fake charity to get her two daughters accepted into the University of Southern California, falsely designating them as crew recruits.

They haven't publicly addressed the allegations against them.

In choosing to enter their not guilty plea through court papers, Loughlin and Giannulli are avoiding the high-profile appearance they made in Boston April 3 when they were forced to make what is called their "initial appearance" in federal court following the issuing of an original set of charges. The judge must approve their request for a waiver to appear. Giannulli even sent Rick Singer, the mastermind of the scheme, an "action picture" of each of his daughters on ergometers, the rowing machines, according to the criminal complaint. After their older daughter was admitted to USC, authorities say Giannulli, whose Mossimo clothing had always been a Target brand until recently, sent Singer an e-mail with the subject line "Trojan happiness", thanking him for his "efforts and end result!"

The accusations have hampered the careers of Loughlin and her daughter Olivia Jade, a social media influencer.

They had previously been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, but had an added charge of money laundering added after not accepting a plea deal.

According to TMZ, Loughlin and Giannulli face a minimum of four years and nine months in prison.

The new charges came a day after federal prosecutors said Huffman and 13 other defendants charged in the probe dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues" had agreed to plead guilty.

"She is very concerned about what a guilty plea would do to her daughters, who may not have grasped everything that was going on."
Prosecutors have said they will seek between 33 to 41 months in prison for Mark Riddell, a Harvard graduate oversaw college entrance exam preparation at IMG Academy.

Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli plead not guilty in college bribery scandal