LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Attorneys for actress Lori Loughlin may have stumbled onto a new defense strategy for their client in the college admissions bribery scandal.
An old tweet from the official USC women’s rowing team account has been making the rounds on social media over the weekend due to one particular phrase.
The tweet from Aug. 17, 2018, consists of an advertisement announcing tryouts for the women’s rowing team. The bottom of the flier reads, “No previous rowing experience necessary.”
On Saturday, TMZ posted a photo of a similar flier that was found hanging in the women’s locker room of the USC Lyon Recreation Center that read, “No Experience? No Problem.”
In March, the 54-year-old Loughlin and her husband, 55-year-old fashion mogul Mossimo Giannulli, were arrested and charged by federal prosecutors with paying $500,000 in bribes so their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither ever rowed crew. Both daughters are still enrolled at USC, but have not attended class since the scandal broke.
The couple are among 50 parents, coaches and testing administrators who were charged March 12 in a massive bribery scheme in which wealthy families paid millions to a Newport Beach businessman named Rick Singer to help their children cheat on standardized tests and bribe test administrators and college coaches to help get their kids into top universities like UCLA, USC, Yale, Stanford and Georgetown.
Parents charged in the scheme are accused of paying Singer a total of $25 million between 2011 and February 2019 for the arrangement. Along with bribing test administrators and college coaches, Singer used some of that money to create fake athletic profiles to help get students admitted into athletic programs.
Last month, fellow actress Felicity Huffman was one of 13 parents and a coach who announced they would plead guilty in the scandal. Huffman confessed to paying a $15,000 bribe in the form of a donation to help her oldest daughter cheat on the SAT.
Loughlin and Giannulli have both plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Each charge comes with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.