TV actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli will face trial in October for corrupting their daughters’ entrance to the University of Southern California, a federal judge said Thursday.
The judge set a date for the trial a day after defense attorneys claimed new evidence exonerate the couple charges that they participated in a college admission bribery program.
Prosecutors have provided the defense with iPhone notes written by the known leader of the scheme that reinforce the couple’s claim that they believed their payments were legitimate donations and not bribes, their lawyers wrote. in a court document filed Wednesday evening.
Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House,” and Giannulli are accused of paying $ 500,000 to bring their daughters into USC as rookies to the rowing team, though none of them has been a rower.
Authorities say Loughlin and Giannulli helped create fake athletic profiles for teens by sending consultant to the program’s center, Rick Singer, photos of their teens posing on rowers.
The money was funneled through a fictitious charity run by Singer, which pleaded guilty to orchestrating the scheme, authorities said.
Loughlin and Giannulli are set to stand trial along with six other prominent parents accused of rigging the college admissions system. Other parents who are still fighting the charges will go to trial in January 2021, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said. The case is based in Boston.
Lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli had urged the judge to delay setting trial dates in light of new evidence received from prosecutors. But the judge said the cases needed to be resolved quickly.
Lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli said on Wednesday prosecutors recently provided them with notes from Singer’s phone in which Singer says FBI agents yelled at him and told him to lie on taped phone calls with parents to make them say things that could be used against them.
Lawyers say Singer said he was told to lie when he said he told parents who participated in the so-called “side door” system that these payments were bribes and not bribes. legitimate donations.
“Loud, abrasive appeal with agents. They keep asking me to tell a lie and not repeat what I told my clients about where the money was going – to the program and not to the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment, ”Singer wrote. , depending on the deposit.
“Basically, they’re asking me to bend the truth,” Singer added.