Lori Loughlin, other parents hit with additional charges in college admissions scandal
Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin is facing new charges in the college admissions scandal, a.k.a. “Operation Varsity Blues.”
On Tuesday, the office of Andrew E. Lelling, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, announced additional charges against other parents involved in the case — including Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli.
The new charges form a third superseding indictment for Loughlin, Giannulli, and nine other parents (Gamal Abdelaziz, Diane Blake, Todd Blake, Elisabeth Kimmell, William McGlashan Jr., Marci Palatella, John Wilson, Homayoun Zadeh, and Robert Zangrillo). The first indictment, which included Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman (she pleaded guilty in April and has already started serving a 14-day prison sentence), was for mail fraud charges. The second indictment added a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering for a smaller group. Loughlin and her husband pleaded not guilty to all of those charges.
This latest indictment charges these parents with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California to facilitate their children’s admission there.
According to court documents, Loughlin and Giannulli paid William Rick Singer and his Key Worldwide Foundation a total of $400,000 to fabricate athletic profiles for their two daughters to make them seem like crew recruits. They also allegedly paid bribes totaling $100,000 to Donna Heinel, the senior associate athletic director at USC.
Representatives for Loughlin did not respond to EW’s request for comment.
“Today’s charges are the result of ongoing investigation in the nationwide college admissions case,” Lelling said in a statement. “Our goal from the beginning has been to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud. The superseding indictments will further that effort.”
Loughlin, Giannulli, and the others indicted face up to 10 years in prison for the federal programs bribery charge, as well as three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
An arraignment date has not yet been set for these new charges; Loughlin is currently awaiting her next court date on the previous counts.