Lori Loughlin Was Sentenced To Two Months In Prison For Her Role In The College Admissions Scam
The Full House star and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, admitted to paying bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California.
In a sentencing hearing over Zoom, US district judge Nathaniel Gorton also ordered Loughlin to pay a $150,000 fine and serve 100 hours of community service.
Assistant US Attorney Justin O'Connell called Loughlin "an active and willful participant" in the bribery scheme to get her daughters into the University of Southern California.
“Loughlin opted to cheat so her children could steal two admissions spots from more capable, deserving students," O'Connell said.
The Full House actor was handed her sentence hours after a judge sentenced her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, to five months in prison for his role in the scam. Giannulli was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service.
In March 2019, Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted as part of "Operation Varsity Blues," along with dozens of other wealthy and influential parents. The nationwide scheme involved bribing college administrators and coaches to recruit students to athletic teams or assist students in cheating on the SATs and ACTs.
In a Zoom hearing in May, Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges.
They had been accused of spending $500,000 in bribe money to the plot's ringleader, William "Rick" Singer, and officials at the University of Southern California to get their daughters admitted there.
The couple also falsely positioned their daughters as athletes, including adding photos in their applications of the two of them using rowing machines, which were later released by prosecutors.
The daughters, Isabella Rose Giannulli and Olivia Jade Giannulli, a popular influencer, were not charged with any crimes.
In an earlier sentencing memorandum, prosecutors had recommended Giannulli be sentenced to five months in prison and Loughlin be sentenced to two, noting that Giannulli was "the more active participant in the scheme."
"Loughlin took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit, eagerly enlisting Singer a second time for her younger daughter, and coaching her daughter not to 'say too much' to her high school’s legitimate college counselor, lest he catch on to their fraud," the sentencing memorandum states.
During her hearing Friday, Loughlin teared up while delivering her statement, saying that she realized her actions "exacerbated existing inequalities" in the education system.
"That realization weighs heavily on me," she said. "I am truly profoundly and deeply sorry. I am ready to face the consequences and make amends."
Loughlin and Giannulli join a long list of wealthy parents imprisoned for their role in the scheme.
In September 2019, Desperate Housewives actor Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to get her daughter's college entrance exam answers corrected. She had pleaded guilty and was released after serving 11 days.