#VOA: Hollywood Couple Agrees to Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scandal . #VOANews


A Hollywood actress and her fashion-designer husband have agreed to plead guilty in a university admissions scandal in which their daughters were falsely portrayed as a sports champion.

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to secure “fraudulent admission” of their two children to the University of Southern California (USC), according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Justice Department stated that Loughlin agreed to two months in prison, a $150,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service. Giannulli’s plea agreement includes five months in prison, a $250,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.

Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 56, both of Los Angeles, have long fought the charges that they fabricated their daughters’ skill at rowing through an admissions’ fixer to gain her entry to the prestigious USC. Earlier this month, a federal judge refused to drop charges against the couple who had alleged that the Justice Department fabricated evidence.

The couple was accused of paying $500,000 to William “Rick” Singer for his help securing them slots at USC through a sports recruiter. In a video on social media, their daughter, Olivia Jade, talked about being more interested in the social rather than scholastic aspects of attending USC.

The Justice Department stated that Loughlin will “plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.”

Loughlin and Giannulli are the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case.

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Earlier this week, a Chinese mother who lives in Canada was sentenced for bribing a fixer to get her son admitted to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a soccer recruit.

Xiaoning Sui, 48, of Surrey, British Columbia, was sentenced to five months’ time served during a videoconference hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock.

She was ordered to pay a fine of $250,000 in addition to forfeiting the $400,000 she paid to Singer, according to Justice Department.

The U.S. Department of Justice conducted a multilevel, years-long investigation it dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.

 

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VA Press

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