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College admissions scandal: Judge grants actress Lori Loughlin’s request to serve time at Victorville prison

Lori Loughlin, front, and husband Mossimo Giannulli, left, leave court.
Lori Loughlin, front, and husband Mossimo Giannulli, left, depart federal court in Boston on April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions scandal.
(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

TV actress Lori Loughlin will serve her prison sentence at the federal correctional institution in Victorville for her role in the college admissions scandal, according to court papers obtained Thursday.

A judge signed off on the actress’ request to serve her time at the medium-security federal prison camp, according to a Sept. 9 order filed in Boston federal court.

Loughlin’s husband, clothing designer J. Mossimo Giannulli, will serve his sentence at the low-security federal prison for men at Lompoc in Santa Barbara County.

Loughlin was sentenced on Aug. 21 to two months behind bars — hours after her husband was handed a five-month term — for paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to USC as crew team recruits, even though neither girl played the sport.

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U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton ordered the “Full House” star and her husband to self-surrender at their respective prisons on Nov. 19 to begin serving their time.

Loughlin was also ordered to pay a $150,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service.

Along with his prison term, Giannulli was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.

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Victorville prison camp inmates are housed in “open bay” dormitories, two- and four-person cubicles, and four-person rooms. Job positions involve driving, working in food and trash services, plumbing, painting, grounds keeping and education. The institution also operates an auto parts warehouse employing three-dozen female inmates providing inventory services, according to the camp’s website.

At sentencing, Loughlin told the court that she had “made an awful” decision. I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process.”

The couple were accused of paying half a million dollars in bribes to the admitted mastermind of the scheme, college admissions counselor Rick Singer, to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, accepted into USC as crew recruits.

After a year of insisting on their innocence, the 56-year-old actress pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while her husband pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.

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As part of the scheme, they sent fake crew recruiting profiles to Singer that included bogus credentials, medals and photos of one of their daughters on a rowing machine. Neither daughter is now enrolled at USC. According to prosecutors, evidence shows that Giannulli, 57, was the more active participant in the scheme.

“He engaged more frequently with Singer, directed the bribe payments to USC and Singer, and personally confronted his daughter’s high school counselor to prevent the scheme from being discovered, brazenly lying about his daughter’s athletic abilities,” federal prosecutors wrote.

“Loughlin took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit, eagerly enlisting Singer a second time for her younger daughter, and coaching her daughter not to ‘say too much’ to her high school’s legitimate college counselor, lest he catch on to their fraud,” they wrote.

More than 50 people have been charged in the probe, which investigators dubbed operation “Varsity Blues.” Of 38 parents charged, 26 have pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from the two weeks given to “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman to a nine-month term imposed on Doug Hodge, former head of a Newport Beach bond management firm.

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Huffman was released Oct. 25 from a low-security federal prison camp in Northern California 11 days into a 14-day sentence for paying to have a proctor correct her daughter’s answers on a college entrance exam.


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