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Loughlin, Giannulli plead not guilty in college scam

15 April 2019

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who live in Los Angeles, are accused of fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy in an alleged bribery scam that prosecutors say was meant to secure admission for their two daughters to the University of Southern California.

They were among 50 people charged last month in the scandal that has embroiled elite school across the country, including Stanford, Georgetown and Yale.

Loughlin and Giannulli waived their right to appear for their arraignment in Boston federal court and plead not guilty to the two charges against them, their lawyers said in court documents. The judge must approve their request for a waiver to appear. Loughlin and Giannulli were two of 33 parents charged in the largest college admissions scandal in American history.

Among the accused parents who were his clients, 13 agreed last week to plead guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, prosecutors say. 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.

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

Huffman - famous for her Academy Award-nominated role in "Transamerica" and the television show "Desperate Housewives" - allegedly gave $15,000 to Singer "to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of their oldest daughter", court documents allege.

Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, could each get a maximum 20-year prison sentence if convicted. "Loughlin and Giannulli did not appear in court and it is now not known if the judge will permit the pleas without them present".

On March 12, the U.S. Attorney's Office in MA announced that it had charged 50 people, including Loughlin and fellow actress Felicity Huffman, in the cheating scandal.

"She is very concerned about what a guilty plea would do to her daughters, who may not have grasped everything that was going on."

Loughlin, Giannulli plead not guilty in college scam