Lori Loughlin Arrested in Los Angeles Over Alleged College Admissions Cheating Scam
Lori Loughlin allegedly paid $500,000 to pretend that daughter Olivia Jade was on the rowing team
Lori Loughlin has been arrested the day after news broke about her alleged involvement in a college admissions cheating scam. A representative from the U.S. Attorneys Office Central District of California confirms to PEOPLE that Loughlin is in custody and expected to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom this afternoon at 2 PM.
According to ABC, the actress, 54, was arrested in Los Angeles after an overnight flight from Canada, where she had reportedly been filming. Loughlin, who faces a felony charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, is expected to appear in court later this afternoon.
The Fuller House star is among dozens charged in an alleged college admissions cheating scam involving elite colleges and universities including Yale, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and Stanford.
The mother of two, who is married to Mossimo founder Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly gave $500,000 to say her daughter Olivia Jade was part of the rowing team when that was not true, the indictment states.
The documents allege that Loughlin — best known for her role as Aunt Becky on the sitcom Full House — and her husband Giannulli, “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
The couple’s 19-year-old daughter, who is a freshman, is not currently listed on the USC women’s rowing roster.
Loughlin has hired attorney Perry Viscounty, according to The Blast. Viscounty did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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Federal court records unsealed Tuesday in Boston name 50 people who have been allegedly indicted as part of the nationwide scheme, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. Actress Felicity Huffman allegedly gave $15,000 “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter,” the indictment states.
“Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states and charged in documents unsealed on March 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston,” the release says.
Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated, as well as parents and exam administrators, the release says.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI alleged in the indictment that the alleged scheme helped students gain acceptance to top schools by helping them cheat on college exams.
Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade faced backlash last year on her popular YouTube channel when she posted a video in which she said she was only interested in attending college for the parties.
While answering fan questions, Olivia Jade said she wasn’t sure how she planned to balance her social media career while taking classes at the University of Southern California, where she is a freshman.
Loughlin’s rep had no comment.