Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli Agree to Plead Guilty in College Admissions Scam

Loughlin has been signing autographs and taking selfies outside court.
Lori Loughlin leaving a 2019 court hearing. Inside Edition

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, will plead guilty to conspiracy charges in connection to their role in a college admissions scam, the US Attorney's Office in Massachusetts said Thursday.

Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 56, were accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as fraudulent recruits for the crew team.

The parents pleaded not guilty last year in a wide-ranging federal investigation dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues," and had petitioned to have their charges dismissed just weeks ago.

Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, according to the plea agreement. Her husband will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Under the parents' plea agreement, Loughlin faces two months in prison and a $150,000 fine. Her husband faces five months in prison and a $250,000 fine. A hearing is scheduled for Friday, during which both will enter their pleas. 

"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," Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said in a statement Thursday.

Loughlin and Giannulli were part of a large group of parents who used the Singer's services as a purported college admissions advisor. More than 50 parents and college officials have been accused of participating in the scam, believed to be the biggest college admissions scandal in U.S. history. 

At least 20 parents have already pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the scandal, including actress Felicity Huffman, who has served her 14-day sentence

The couple's attorneys argued that federal agents had coached William "Rick" Singer, the alleged ringleader of the scheme, to "bend the truth," but U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton ruled the prosecutors' actions did not constitute misconduct.

According to court documents, government agents approached Singer six months into the investigation, and he agreed to wear a wiretap and discuss alleged bribery. 

Loughlin and Giannulli were part of a large group of parents who used the Singer's services as a purported college admissions advisor.

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