Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have agreed to a plea deal in connection with their involvement in the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal. The actress, known for her work on Full House and The Hallmark Channel, is expected to be sentenced to serve two months in prison.
The actress will also be forced to pay $150,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service. The fashion designer, on the other hand will be sentenced to serve five months in prison with a $150,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts, the couple will enter their guilty pleas on conspiracy charges via video conference. There is a provision in the plea agreement to wait 90 days after the federal judge imposes their sentence before they are both sent to prison.
Through a press release, United States Attorney Andrew E. Lellings noted, “We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions.” The couple are the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty to the case, which was announced back last year. Giannulli and Loughlin were accused of paying $500,000 to get both their daughters into the University of Southern California as rowers. The girls were not athletes, but their application photos showed them on rowing machines.
The investigation was quickly dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues” with 50 suspects charged. Authorities found wealthy parents who cheated several college applications and entrance exams to get their children into US elite schools. Several cases involved parents bribing coaches who falsified student-athletes’ histories. One of the cases involved a real athlete’s photo which was manipulated to look like one of the students.
Several other parents paid for stand-ins to take entrance exams. The scandal took place between 2011 and 2018 and was spearheaded by William “Rick” Singer who pleaded guilty and helped the FBI investigate the other parents. Singer set up the system where parents would pay cheating services and bribes. According to prosecutors, Singer was sentenced to three years of supervised release by the court in exchange for his lengthy plea deal.
Actress Felicity Huffman, known for her work on Desperate Housewives, also pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy, serving nearly two weeks in prison.