Fuller House actress, Lori Loughlin received a two-month federal prison sentence on Friday for her role in the high-profile College Admissions Cheating Scandal.
As part of her sentence, Loughlin will serve two years of supervised release. During which she must perform 100 hours of community service and pay a fine of $150,000, according to the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
Lori was sentenced just hours after her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, received five months in prison, a $250,000 fine, two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service. Prosecutors mentioned that Giannulli deserved the harsher sentence because he was “the more active participant in the scheme.” Like her spouse Mossimo Giannulli, Loughlin was told to surrender on November 19 to the Bureau of Prisons.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Loughlin, like her husband, participated in the hearing by Zoom with her attorney, Sean Berkowitiz next to her.
They originally pleaded not guilty before eventually deciding to take a plea deal
The sentencing brings an end to the saga for Giannulli and Loughlin, who became the face of the college admissions scandal. The two paid $500,000 through the phony Key Worldwide Foundation run by William “Rick” Singer. In order to get their daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli, 20, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, accepted to the University of Southern California as rowing team recruits. Even though neither of them ever participated in the sport. (The two no longer attend USC.)
The couple was charged in 2019 with one count each of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery in addition to charges of money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud. Both originally pleaded not guilty before eventually deciding to take a plea deal.
“While I wish I could go back and do things differently, I can only take responsibility”
While addressing the judge, Loughlin said, “I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process.” Loughlin said during her virtual sentencing hearing. “In doing so I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass. I thought I was acting out of love for my children. But in reality, it only undermined and diminished my daughters’ abilities and accomplishments.”
She said she now understood that her decision helped exacerbate existing inequalities in society. “While I wish I could go back and do things differently, I can only take responsibility and move forward,” she said as her voice cracked and she began to cry. “I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry,” she said, using both hands to wipe tears from her face. “I’m ready to face the consequences and make amends.”
“You stand before me a convicted felon, and for what?”
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton expressed outrage at the couple’s greed. He called Loughlin’s life “charmed” and a “fairytale,” with success and plentiful wealth. “Yet you stand before me a convicted felon, and for what? For the inexplicable desire to grab more,” Gorton said. “To have whatever prestige and instant gratification that comes from being able to show off the admission of your daughters to a preferred university.”
“You have no excuse for your crime. And that makes it all the more blameworthy”
In his own statement to the judge, Giannulli said: “I take full responsibility for my conduct. I am ready to accept the consequences and move forward, with the lessons I’ve learned from this experience.”
Accusing Giannulli of “wanton arrogance coming from excessive pride,” Gorton said the defendant committed a “breathtaking fraud on our system of education.” The judge told Giannulli that he “certainly did know better.”
“You were not stealing bread to feed your family,” Gorton said. “You have no excuse for your crime. And that makes it all the more blameworthy.” He ordered the designer to surrender himself on November 19 at a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons.
“Lori and Mossimo deeply regret what they did,” a source close to Loughlin revealed in May. “This experience has taken a huge emotional and physical toll on both of them.” A second source added, “At this point, they just want to find out their fates and to serve whatever time they need to serve, so they can move on with their lives and close this chapter.”
“Operation Varsity Blues”
Loughlin, who gained fame for her role as the wholesome Aunt Becky in the sitcom “Full House” that ran from the late 1980s to mid-1990s, and Giannulli were among 50 people charged last year in the case federal prosecutors dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” Which uncovered hefty bribes to get undeserving kids into college with rigged test scores or fake athletic credentials. Nearly 30 parents have pleaded guilty while 10 are headed to trial.
Other prominent parents charged in the case include, “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman. The actress pleaded guilty in a Boston court in May, just weeks after her initial arrest. Huffman ended up being sentenced to 14 days in prison in September. During her sentencing hearing, Huffman said she was “deeply ashamed” of her actions.