Advertisement

Lori Loughlin released on $1-million bail in college admissions scandal

Felicity Huffman is seen after a court appearance connected to a college bribery case.

Actress Lori Loughlin was released on $1-million bail Wednesday after being taken into custody as part of a sweeping college admissions corruption scandal.

She appeared Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Los Angeles. The court agreed that she will be allowed to continue filming in Vancouver.

Advertisement

She was among dozens swept up in what prosecutors called the largest college admissions fraud scheme they’d ever seen.

On Tuesday afternoon, another actress, Felicity Huffman, made a brief court appearance in Los Angeles. She answered “yes” to several questions from the federal magistrate, including whether she understood the charges against her. She was seated in a glassed-off area with several other defendants. Her husband, actor William H. Macy, sat in court as the magistrate ordered her free on $250,000 bail. She was finally released from custody late Tuesday, exiting the courthouse to throngs of reporters.

She is expected to appear in a Boston courtroom March 29 to address the charges.

Huffman is accused of disguising a $15,000 charitable payment in the bribery scheme, according to court records. Prosecutors alleged she met with a confidential witness who explained that he could control an SAT testing center and could arrange for someone to proctor her daughter’s test and correct it.

Huffman’s older daughter took the test in December 2017 and received a score of 1420. That was a 400-point improvement from her first test. In October, Huffman was recorded by the FBI allegedly discussing participating in the same scheme for her younger daughter; however, she did not ultimately pursue it.

Her attorney declined to comment.

Huffman did get some support Tuesday from playwright and longtime friend David Mamet. In an open letter, Mamet said: “That a parent’s zeal for her children’s future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon.”

Loughlin, of “Full House" fame, and Huffman, whose credits include the hit ABC show “Desperate Housewives,” are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. According to court records, Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, the creator of clothing brand Mossimo, “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team” even though they did not participate in crew.

The scheme centered on the owner of a for-profit Newport Beach college admissions company that wealthy parents paid to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and to falsify athletic records of students to enable them to secure admission to elite schools, including UCLA, USC, Stanford, Yale and Georgetown, according to court records.

Advertisement
Advertisement