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After more than a year of innocence, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have pleaded guilty to the university admissions scandal and will each serve a sentence behind bars.
On Friday, the judge neither rejected nor accepted the terms of their plea deal, saying he will make an official decision after examining the pre-conviction reports. The couple’s official conviction is scheduled for August 21 at 2:30 p.m. for Loughlin and 11:00 a.m. for Giannulli.
Loughlin pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest wire fraud services and mail.
LORI LOUGHLIN AND MOSSIMO GIANNULLI OFFICIALLY PLACE GUILTY IN THE SCANDAL CASE OF COLLEGE ADMISSIONS
“If the court accepts the agreement, I expect them to serve a prison sentence,” Michael Zweiback, founding partner of Zweiback Fiset & Coleman, told Fox News.
Loughlin is said to have served two months and fined $ 150,000, along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service.
Giannulli could serve five months in prison, pay a $ 250,000 fine with two years on probation and be required to complete 250 hours of community service.
“If they are not serving a sentence, then the outcry will be that they have received preferential treatment. Especially since other defendants in this case have served prison terms, “said Zweiback. “The court has the opportunity to make it clear in the order that the Prisons Office should not place them in house arrest. “
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California-based lawyer Lara Yeretsian told Fox News that “being rich and famous actually works to their detriment.”
“They became the poster children for the prosecution, so their celebrity turned against them. The only difference between their sentence and that of the other parents is that they know what they are getting because it is agreed, but it is not less than what the other parents have understood. ” she explains.
San Diego criminal defense attorney David P. Shapiro said Loughlin and Giannulli believed that entering into a plea agreement was the best decision for the couple, as trying to be sympathetic to a jury would be a major risk
“Loughlin and her husband, initially convinced of their innocence, seem to have made the right decision to resolve their case for sentences considerably lower than what they would certainly have received if they had been convicted at trial,” he said. declared.
OWNER PHOTOS OF LORI LOUGHLIN GIRLS ARE PUBLISHED BY PROSECUTORS IN THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CASE
Shapiro also believed that the pandemic also played a role in their decision.
“The logistics of a jury trial in the midst of social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly played a role in the government’s decision to make this offer” to take or leave “to Loughlin and her husband, no matter how much they can deny it, “he said.
Loughlin and Giannulli to become 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty to university admissions scandal, which erupted last year and saw parents pay big bucks to brainwash William “Rick” Singer for admission their children in schools of their choice by various allegedly fraudulent means.
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“Under the plea agreements tabled 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 previous convictions in this case. We will continue to seek accountability for undermining the integrity of university admissions, “said US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling in a statement.
Loughlin and Giannulli previously pleaded not guilty to the broad corruption charges laid against them in October 2019, along with 11 other parents involved in the scandal.
The duo have been charged with arranging a total collective payment of $ 500,000 to Singer for their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, to be recruited to USC as team athletes, although they do not have never participated in sport.
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Nearly two dozen parents have already pleaded guilty to the case, including former “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman. She served nearly two weeks in prison after admitting to paying $ 15,000 for someone to correct the answers to her daughter’s entrance exam.
Tyler McCarthy of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.