Lori Loughlin Gets 2-Month Sentence, Judge Accepts Plea Deal for Involvement in College Scandal
The wait is over. U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton accepted Lori Loughlin’s plea deal for a two-month prison sentence after her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, was sentenced to five months in prison on Friday, August 21, for their involvement in the nationwide college admissions scandal.
One of her attorneys, BJ Trach, told the judge the crimes Loughlin, 56, committed were “completely out of character,” noting she volunteered in a classroom for children with special needs in L.A. last year.
Trach said Loughlin is “profoundly sorry for the role she played” in the case, and has been “shunned” by the Hollywood industry because of the backlash.
“I made an awful decision … I went along will the plan … in doing so, I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass,” the actress said while tearfully addressing the judge. Her sentence included two years of supervised release, 100 hours of community service and a $150,000 fine.
Earlier today, the judge also accepted the sentence Giannulli, 57, agreed to in his plea deal. In addition to serving five months behind bars, he was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine, complete 250 community hours and was given two years of supervised release.
“I deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others,” Giannulli told the judge. “I take full responsibility of my conduct.”
Defense attorney Sean Berkowitz said his client was “humbled” by the case, insisting he takes full responsibility both for his role in the scandal and for “bringing his wife into the scheme,” which he “deeply regrets.”
Despite that, Judge Gorton called his crimes “breathtaking fraud,” responding, “You are an informed, smart businessman. You certainly knew better.” Gorton ordered Giannulli to turn himself in by November 19, giving the same date to Loughlin, and agreed to recommend Lompoc Camp to the Bureau of Prisons as the facility where the father will service his sentence.
The actress widely known for portraying Aunt Becky on the sitcom Full House, and her fashion designer husband were eagerly awaiting their sentencing after federal prosecutors urged the judge to “impose the agreed-upon dispositions” that were made when the duo entered their guilty pleas in May.
Loughlin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud at the time, while her spouse pleaded guilty to the same charge, as well as honest services wire and mail fraud.
Loughlin and Giannulli previously owned up to paying $500,000 to get their daughters Isabella Giannulli, 21, and Olivia Jade Giannulli, 20, accepted into the University of Southern California [USC] as members of the crew team, although the girls never participated in the sport. The father of two was “the more active participant in the scheme,” prosecutors argued in the sentencing memo, while Loughlin “took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit.”
After the couple secured plea deals for their involvement, their daughters finally had “peace of mind,” a source told In Touch in May. “They know that their parents had their best interests at heart when they did what they did, but it was wrong and they got caught,” the insider said at the time. “They should have admitted their guilt from the beginning, but now that they have, they can all move on.”
Amid the controversy, Loughlin and Giannulli voluntarily resigned from the elite Bel-Air Country Club after some board members voted to suspend their membership.
Loughlin and Giannulli were among 15 other parents arrested in March 2019, after being indicted on charges from the operation dubbed “Varsity Blues.”
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