BOSTON (CBSLA) – Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are among 11 parents facing new charges connected to the nationwide college admissions scandal, all now accused of paying bribes to USC officials in order to get their children admitted to the school as athletic recruits.
A federal grand jury in Boston brought charges of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery against 11 of the 15 parents who have yet to plead guilty in the scandal, the U.S. district attorney’s office announced Tuesday.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
This comes after a Laguna Beach father and Newport Beach mother were among four parents who Monday who plead guilty in the case.
In total, 19 parents have plead guilty so far, including actress Felicity Huffman, who began serving her 14-day sentence last week.
The 55-year-old Loughlin and her 56-year-old fashion mogul husband are among 15 parents still fighting the charges.
The couple are accused of 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. On Monday, the USC Registrar confirmed that the two daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli, are no longer enrolled at the school.
When the scandal broke in March, Loughlin and Giannulli were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. In April, prosecutors added a count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Each of those counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
On March 12, the FBI charged 51 people — including 34 parents and nine coaches — 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 alleged 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.