Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli to plead guilty in college admissions scandal

Couple will serve multiple months in prison, pay a combined $400,000 in fines

By Jon Blistein
May 21, 2020 3:27PM (UTC)
main article image
Lori Loughlin, center, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, behind her at right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone.

Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in the college admissions scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

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, as well as honest services wire and mail fraud. The pair will enter their pleas on a date to be determined.

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As part of the plea deal, Loughlin will spend two months in prison, while Giannulli will spend five. Loughlin will also have to pay a $150,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service. And Giannulli will pay a $250,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.

"Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case," United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said. "We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions."

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Loughlin and Giannulli were among the most high-profile parents to face charges in the college admissions scandal. The couple were accused of paying William "Rick" Signer — the alleged mastermind behind the scam — $500,000 to have their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither girl was on the crew team in high school. Loughlin and Giannulli initially pleaded not guilty last April and seemed bent on fighting the case, even after they and nine other parents were hit with new bribery charges last October.

Unlike Loughlin and Giannulli, the other major celebrity caught up in Operation Varsity Blues, Felicity Huffman, chose to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud last April. She was sentenced to 14 days in prison, a total later bumped down to 13, though ultimately she got out after serving just 11. Huffman was also required to pay a $30,000 fine and serve 250 hours of probation and a year of supervised release.

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College Admissions Scandal Lori Loughlin Mossimo Giannulli Operation Varsity Blues Rolling Stone