Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli were respectively sentenced to serve two and five months in jail for their role in a college admissions scandal.
The couple received their sentences on Friday.
In May, the two agreed to plea guilty over their roles in the college admissions scam, which came to light in 2019. They admitted to paying $500,000 to William Rick Singer, the scheme’s mastermind, get their daughters into the University of Southern California.
What are the details?
Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton sentenced Loughlin and Giannulli through separate Zoom meetings on Friday, in which Loughlin and her husband issued apologies for their actions.
“I made an awful decision,” a tearful Loughlin told the judge. “I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process, and in doing so, I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass. I have great faith in God, and I believe in redemption, and I will do everything in my power to redeem myself and use this experience as a catalyst to do good.”
An attorney for Loughlin said that his client grew up in a modest household that often lived paycheck to paycheck.
“She didn’t attend college because her family couldn’t afford it,” her lawyer said, but insisted that she was determined “from a young age” to succeed for herself “and for her family.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin O’Connell said that Loughlin, however, should have been content with the advantages her children were born into with her being an actress and her husband, a prolific fashion designer.
“[E]veryone, no matter your status, is accountable in our justice system,” O’Connell said during the Friday sentencing hearing.
The couple’s May plea agreement stipulated that Loughlin would serve two months in prison and pay a fine of at least $150,000. She would be subject to two years of supervised release, as well as 100 hours of community service.
Giannulli also expressed his regrets for taking part in the scam.
“I do deeply regret … the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife, and others,” he said. “I take full responsibility for my conduct, I’m ready to accept consequences and move forward with the lessons I’ve learned from this experience.”
Giannulli, who will serve five months in prison, will pay a $250,000 fine, serve two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service.
The two have 60 days to pay the fine related to their sentencing and are required to report to an as-yet determined prison facility on Nov. 19.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said that Giannulli’s crimes were greater than that of his wife.
“The crime Giannulli and Loughlin committed was serious,” Lelling said. “Over the course of two years, they engaged twice in … [the] fraudulent scheme. They involved both their daughters in the fraud, directing them to pose in staged photographs for use in fake athletic profiles and instructing one daughter how to conceal the scheme from her high school counselor. As between the defendants, the evidence suggests that Giannulli was the more active participant in the scheme.”