“I deeply regret the harm my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others. I am ready to accept the consequences and move forward with the lessons I have learned from this experience, ”Giannulli said at the hearing.The couple have been accused of paying $ 500,000 to secure the admission of their two daughters to the University of Southern California by masquerading as potential sports recruits. A fake CV for their daughter Olivia Jade, a YouTube star, shows the couple claiming Jade was an accomplished rower.
Lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli originally said the couple had done nothing wrong and that the half a million dollars they paid were “legitimate donations.” A motion to dismiss the charges was dismissed in May. Lawyers for the couple have argued that federal agents trained William “Rick” Singer, the alleged boss of the scheme, to “bend the truth”, but U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton ruled that prosecutors’ actions did not were not a fault.
Before handing down the sentence, Judge Gorton tore Giannulli apart for committing a “crime motivated by pride” which is “defined by gratuitous arrogance and excessive pride”. Gorton said most of the people he sees haven’t grown up with role models, are abused or live in squalid conditions and face tough choices.
“This is not the case with you. You yourself describe a stable family. You are a savvy businessman. You certainly knew better but you sponsored a mind-boggling fraud on our education system, ”the judge said. “You weren’t stealing bread for your family. ”
Eugene Ansley and Audrey McNamara contributed to this report.