Lawyers for Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, filed documents in court on December 12 accusing the government of “concealing exculpatory evidence” that could help the couple in their case.
In court papers seen by Insider, lawyers said that the evidence shows Loughlin and Giannulli thought the $500,000 they paid the scandal’s ringleader, William “Rick” Singer, would go directly to the University of Southern California as a legitimate charitable donation.
Prosecutors say the couple paid Singer $500,000 to guarantee their daughters’ admissions into USC by having them pose as crew recruits.
Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to all charges and face up to 50 years in prison each if they’re convicted.
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Lawyers for Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have accused the government of concealing evidence that they say could help their clients build their case in the college admissions scandal.
In court papers filed on December 12 seen by Insider, lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli from Latham & Watkins LLP said evidence concealed by the government “helps show that both Defendants believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself — for legitimate, university-approved purposes — or to other legitimate charitable causes.”
There’s a well-known record of wealthy parents donating large sums of money to top-tier universities in hopes of getting their kids admitted. — reports suggest it helped Jared Kushner, and several others get admitted to Harvard University.
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying the college admissions scandal’s ringleader, Rick Singer, $500,000 to guarantee their daughters’ admissions to the University of Southern California as purported coxswains for the crew team.
Like most of the funds involved in the scheme, the money prosecutors say Loughlin and Giannulli paid was funneled through Singer’s sham charity, Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF).
Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images
They have pleaded not guilty to three charges, and it appears that their lawyers are now claiming they believed the money was legally going to USC.
“The Government’s failure to disclose this information is unacceptable, and this Court should put a stop to it,” their lawyers said in court documents.
The lawyers asked the court to order the government to disclose all information they have on the case, including notes on how Singer represented the payments he made to USC on behalf of parents.
“Common sense indicates that FBI interviewers asked Singer what he told his clients about their payments to USC and KWF. Were they told that their direct donations to university departments were bribes? Were they told that Singer would reroute their KWF donations, and if so, did he tell them those rerouted donations were legitimate? Or were they told that their money would be used to bribe individual USC employees? Although Singer’s answers to those questions are critical to establishing Giannulli and Loughlin’s intent with respect to the payments, the Government has not revealed how Singer responded,” Loughlin and Giannulli’s lawyers said.
The lawyers argued that there is “strong reason to believe” that Loughlin and Giannulli were told their payments were “legitimate.”
Loughlin and Giannulli are among more than 30 parents who have been charged in the college admissions scandal.
Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT answers falsified as part of the scheme, was sentenced 14 days in prison. She served 11 days.
If Loughlin and Giannulli are convicted, they could face up to 50 years in prison for the crimes.
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