Lori Loughlin Faces New Accusations in College Admissions Scandal

There’s been a significant new development in America’s college admissions scandal. On Oct. 22, new charges were brought up against former actress Lori Loughlin, who is among several other parents involved in the scandal. Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 to grant their two daughters admission to the University of Southern California. The sisters posed as crew recruits to gain entry, although neither of the girls had any prior involvement in the sport. While the couple was indicted in March and pled not guilty in April, new charges have been filed over the last week, which could dramatically increase the accused’s prison sentence. 

These new charges in the admissions case include bribery, adding to the fraud and money laundering charges that the accused parents already face. While the additional charges are not alleging any new crimes, it is thought that they are intended to facilitate a plea deal from the remaining parents awaiting trial. The prosecution is arguing that 11 parents in the case attempted to bribe USC employees to guarantee their children’s admission as false athletic recruits. There are currently 23 coaches, parents and other defendants in the case who have not yet agreed to a plea deal and seem to be holding stiff to await their trials. 

The couple isn’t exactly making things easy for themselves, either. On Oct. 24, it was discovered that Giannulli made an incriminating comment in an email to his accountant in April of 2017. Allegedly, Giannulli told his accountant he had to “work the system” to guarantee admission for his eldest daughter into the University of Southern California. Alongside this message, he forwarded a $200,000 invoice that had been passed along to him by Rick Singer. Singer, according to prosecution, is allegedly the mastermind behind a nationwide college admissions scandal. In the invoice, Singer thanked the couple for their “private contribution” of $200,000 to a non-profit. 

Courtesy: Donato Sardella

Loughlin, who said she “regrets” not taking a plea deal initially, has been sent into panic following these new allegations. According to a source from Us Weekly, Lori Loughlin is “terrified and extremely vulnerable.” Her main hope now is that the judge will sentence her very lightly if she is convicted, although this remains yet to be seen. Loughlin and her husband aren’t the only ones facing new charges, however, as these allegations have been extended to seven others, including four former college coaches. 

Courtesy: Reed Saxon

According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, “Our goal from the beginning has been to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery, and fraud.” It is unclear whether or not the couple plans to attempt another plea bargain, or if they will still be awaiting their trial. Neither of Loughlin’s daughters are still enrolled at the University of Southern California amidst the scandal, and the university as a whole has not been accused of any wrongdoing. It’s clear that more guilty pleas are wanted, and the pressure against the defendants is on. Currently, it looks as though the trials will commence sometime in 2020. 

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