LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The University of Southern California has been ordered to turn over documents that could help actress Lori Loughlin as she fights federal charges in the massive college admissions scandal.
Another parent accused in the investigation into USC claims that the university routinely puts the children of donors into a VIP pool of applicants who are then more likely to be admitted.
USC must now turn over emails and spreadsheets related to its admissions process.
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli say they didn’t realize the money they paid was actually going to a bribe and thought it was a donation to the school.
Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery
An October trial date was recently set for the couple. It came as the couple’s lawyers accused prosecutors of withholding evidence and misconduct.
In February, federal prosecutors released a copy of a phony resume for the couple’s daughter, Olivia Jade, which purports to list her fake achievements in the sport of rowing. In January, prosecutors released a trove of emails and call recording logs between Giannulli, Loughlin and Newport Beach businessman Rick Singer. The emails revealed how USC was trying to court one of the daughters — even as prosecutors said the couple was plotting to get her admitted as a fake rower.
On March 12, 2019, the FBI charged 50 people — including 35 parents and nine coaches — in a massive bribery scheme in which wealthy families paid millions to 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.
So far 20 parents, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman — who served a 14-day sentence in October — have pleaded guilty in the scandal and 15 of those have been sentenced. Another 15, including Loughlin and Giannulli, are fighting the charges.