Lori Loughlin, Husband Sentenced in College Admissions Scandal

August 21, 2020 Updated: August 21, 2020

Former “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, the fashion designer, were sentenced to two months and five months in prison, respectively, after pleading guilty to charges in connection to a college admissions scandal.

Giannulli pleaded guilty to count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and one count of honest services wire and mail fraud. He’ll also have to pay a $250,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service.

Loughlin, meanwhile, was sentenced later on Friday and appeared in court via Zoom. She will receive two months in prison, 100 hours of community service, and a $150,000 fine.

Giannulli’s and his attorneys attended court in a Zoom call. Judge Nathaniel Gorton said in the call that he would accept Giannulli’s plea deal.

Gorton said the sentence and fine are “sufficient but not greater than necessary punishment under the circumstances.”

The two were both charged in 2019 and were accused of paying $500,000 to Rick Singer to falsely say that their daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, 20, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, were recruits to the University of Southern California crew team. The two girls never partook in the sport, according to a criminal complaint.

Lori and daughters
Actress Lori Loughlin (C) poses with her daughters Bella (L) and Olivia Jade at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Aug. 13, 2017. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Olivia Jade, who had a significant following on YouTube and Instagram, has not been charged in the case.

“In January 2018, Loughlin, Giannulli, and their younger daughter discussed how to avoid the possibility that a high school counselor would disrupt their scheme,” a  sentencing memo reads. “When their daughter asked whether she should list USC as her top choice school, Loughlin allegedly replied: ‘Yes. … But it might be a flag for the weasel to meddle.'”

Loughlin’s plea deal with prosecutors stipulates that she would spend about two months in prison.

Actor Lori Loughlin, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, leave the federal courthouse after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme, in Boston
Actrress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, leave the federal courthouse after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme, in Boston, Mass., on April 3, 2019. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

The two are among about 30 prominent parents who admitted to charges in the scheme, which involved bribes to get their children into colleges with falsified test scores and athletic credentials, according to prosecutors.

“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman served 11 days in prison last year after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Singer, who also pleaded guilty, was expected to testify against the couple if they went to trial.

Lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli previously argued that the couple believed the payments were “legitimate donations” that would go directly to USC as a fundraising gift or support Singer’s charity. They also accused prosecutors of hiding crucial evidence that could prove the couple’s innocence because it would undermine their case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.