LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion mogul Mossimo Giannulli were both sentenced Friday to federal prison time for paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to get their two daughters admitted to USC as athletic recruits.
In two separate virtual hearings Friday morning, a federal judge in Boston accepted sentencing recommendations from prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts that will see the the 56-year-old “Full House” star serve two months in prison, and her 57-year-old husband serve five months.
“I made an awful decision,” an emotional Loughlin told the judge via Zoom, according to CBS Boston. “I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry. I am ready to face the consequences and make amends.”
Loughlin will also be required to pay a $150,000 fine, receive two years of supervised release and conduct 100 hours of community service.
Giannulli must pay a $250,000 fine, receive two years of supervised release and conduct 250 hours of community service.
“I deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife, and others,” Giannulli told the judge. “I take full responsibility for my conduct.”
Giannuli’s sentence was harsher because prosecutors determined him to be “the more active participant in the scheme,” according to a sentencing memo filed Monday.
Both will need to surrender and report to prison in 90 days, CBS Boston reports.
It’s unclear if the coronavirus pandemic will effect how they serve out their terms.
In May, Loughlin pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
The two had been set to go on trial in October for paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters admitted to USC as members of the rowing team, even though neither had ever rowed crew. Both daughters have since left USC.
In early May, a judge refused to dismiss the charges over the defense’s claims of misconduct by FBI agents.
Since early 2019, prosecutors had been putting pressure on Loughlin and Giannulli to plead guilty. 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 mastermind of the college scandal. 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.
In March of 2019, the FBI charged 50 people — including 35 parents and nine coaches — in a massive bribery scheme dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues” 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, about 30 parents, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman — who served a 14-day sentence last October — have pleaded or agreed to plead guilty in the scandal.