The lawyer for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli has released new evidence that could exonerate the couple in the so-called college admissions scandal.
Loughlin and Giannulli have been accused of paying $500,000 to William “Rick” Singer to gain admission for their daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli, into USC. Singer has pleaded guilty to four federal charges and is cooperating with prosecutors, and nearly two dozen other parents have pleaded guilty, including Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to two weeks in prison.
Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to the previous charges.
However, on February 26, the couple’s attorney Sean Berkowitz filed a motion to have their upcoming trial date postponed. The reason? There are newly released claims that the FBI told Singer to lie about whether parents knew they were paying bribes.
“Singer’s notes indicate that FBI agents yelled at him and instructed him to lie by saying that he told his clients who participated in the alleged ‘side door’ scheme that their payments were bribes, rather than legitimate donations that went to the schools,” Berkowitz states in the court documents.
He also states: “This belated discovery … is devastating to the government’s case and demonstrates that the government has been improperly withholding core exculpatory information, employing a ‘win at all costs’ effort rather than following their obligation to do justice.”
“This is a defense attorney’s dream and a prosecutor’s nightmare,” criminal defense lawyer James J. Leonard Jr. tells People. While Leonard is not representing Loughlin or Giannullim he told the website, “This changes everything.”
The power couple can use all the help they can get right now, as prosecutors allegedly have stacks of evidence at their disposal. Some items include:
- Documents showing Loughlin and Giannulli specifically rejecting the “legitimate’ approach” to getting their daughters into college.
- A fake, redacted resume believed to be the one submitted for their eldest daughter, Oliva Jade Giannulli.
- Emails discussing their daughter’s fake athletic profiles to the University of Southern California (USC) as rowing recruits.
- An email exchange discussing the need for a rowing photo of one of Loughlin’s daughters to make her application look more legitimate.
Despite Berkowitz’s attempts, the Boston judge denied his request and set Loughlin and Giannulli’s court date for October 5. A source close to the family told People that “are not upset” about the decision.