Federal Prosecutors in the College Admission Program Case Insisted Lori Loughlin and Her Husband Mossimo Giannulli Knew That Six-Digit Money They Paid to Consultant Was Bribe , not a “legitimate gift”.
Prosecutors responded in a court case to the couple’s attempt to drop all charges against them.
The Fuller House star and her fashion designer husband are accused of paying to have their daughters Isabella Rose, 21, and Olivia, 20, admitted to the University of Southern California.
They allegedly paid $ 500,000 to the fixer who became a university admissions informant, William ‘Rick’ Singer, for the girls to be recruited into the school team, although they had no experience in the sport.
Over the past two weeks, the couple’s lawyers have filed a series of motions asking a federal judge to dismiss the charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering against them.
They said, among other things, that the investigators had intimidated Singer to trap the parents, and that the prosecutors had then hidden evidence for the defense.
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday released a meteoric response to Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s request to dismiss the charges against them, saying the two men knew the $ 500,000 they paid was not a gift but a gift. bribe to bring their two daughters into the USC.
Isabella (left) and Olivia (right) were admitted to the USC as crew members, although they have no experience in the sport.
The prosecution responded to these requests in a 36-page blistered court document filed Wednesday and obtained for the first time by Deadline.
They argue that the government has evidence that Loughlin and Giannulli knew the money they paid was “anything but a legitimate gift” and were implicated in the plan to smuggle their daughters as crew recruits.
The answer opens with the recognition that prosecutors should have turned over 47 pages of Singer’s notes to the defense in a timely manner, but it denies defense lawyers’ assertion that they were acting in “bad faith”.
“In a sprawling and swift chase, failing to produce the notes earlier was just a mistake,” said court records. “The accused have suffered no prejudice, and their suggestion that the notes” in some way exonerate “them or reveal that the evidence against them was fabricated is clearly false.
“The criminal intent of the accused is clear from the evidence of their actions and their interactions with Singer, before he began to cooperate – and this evidence corroborates and is corroborated by the evidence that the government subsequently gathered. “
The crux of the argument for prosecutors opposing the defense motion to dismiss is that they have evidence in the form of email exchanges between Singer, Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly proving that the parents played an active role in the program to get their daughters into the USC under false pretenses and with the help of a bribe.
Parents previously claimed that the case could not be continued because investigators intimidated their informer, admissions consultant Rick Singer (photo), by lying and then hiding evidence that would strengthen the parents’ allegations of innocence.
According to the record, starting in 2016, Singer gave parents detailed instructions on how to integrate their eldest daughter into the USC.
In a series of emails, Singer said he had a “game plan” to get Isabella admitted to the prestigious school, which involved creating a “coxswain profile” with a photo of the teenager posing on an ergometer in training clothes “like a real athlete. ‘
After Isabella was provisionally admitted as a member of the crew, Singer emailed Giannulli to tell him who to pay and how much, according to the file.
The fashion designer ended up making two payments totaling $ 250,000.
“Giannulli asked,” For accounting purposes, would I classify this as a gift? »», According to an email exchange included in the file. “The singer replied:” Yes. “”
In 2017, Singer again contacted the couple, asking them to stage an “action photo” of their youngest daughter, Olivia Jade, posing on an ergometer “to be used in an athletic profile which he said would present it as a coxswain. “
A few months after Olivia Jade followed in her USC’s footsteps as a crew member, Giannulli “berated a high school counselor for suggesting to the USC that her daughter was not made a coxswain, “according to the document. “Giannulli falsely assured the counselor that she was. In an email to Giannulli, the counselor wrote that he had informed the USC “that you came this morning and told me that [your younger daughter] is really a coxswain. “
The singer then called Loughlin, telling him that if the IRS called him, “Nothing has been said about the girls, your donations helping the girls get into the USC to crew even if they don’t have not done so, “according to the new court record.
Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to a multitude of charges, including fraud, corruption and money laundering. If convicted during his trial scheduled for October, the couple could face up to 45 years in prison.
Lawyers representing Loughlin and Giannulli last week asked a judge to dismiss the charges of honest service fraud against them, saying the couple had not knowingly participated in a consideration exchange with the USC in an attempt to get their daughters admitted to the prestigious school, CNN reported.
Loughlin (center) and her husband could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted, including for fraud, corruption and money laundering
“The main allegations of misconduct by the accused rest on a straw man: this case only concerns corruption. This is not the case, “replied prosecutors in Wednesday’s response.
“The defendants are charged with conspiracy to engage in a single, comprehensive program to have their children admitted to university by lying, inter alia, about their academic and sporting qualifications so that the coaches who are accomplices, induced by bribes called “donations”, their programs, could claim to recruit them as elite athletes.
The filing also raised issues with the semantics of the word “bribe”, stating: “it is not because neither Singer nor the defendants used the word” bribe “to describe the so-called gifts they are legitimate.
A week earlier, lawyers for the couple and other parents asked the federal judge to dismiss the charges of “extraordinary” misconduct.
Defense attorneys said the case could not be continued because investigators intimidated their informer, Singer, by lying, and then concealed evidence that would strengthen the parents’ allegations of innocence.
The defense argued that prosecutors had withheld evidence that would support the parents’ argument that they believed the payments were donations that would benefit the schools. The evidence – phone notes from the brain of the admitted regime, admission consultant Rick Singer – was only released to the defense last month.
Prosecutors reported discovering the notes for the first time in October 2018, but did not examine them further as they believed they were written for his lawyer and were protected by solicitor-client privilege.
Nearly two dozen parents have pleaded guilty to paying bribes to fake college entrance exams or to get their kids into the best schools as bogus sports recruits. Other people who admitted to being charged in this case include Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to two weeks in prison for paying $ 15,000 to have someone correct SAT’s responses. her daughter.