Lori Loughlin and Husband Face New Money Laundering Charge in College Admissions Cheating Scandal
Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband J. Mossimo Giannulli are among 16 parents who have been indicted on an additional charge for their alleged involvement in the high-profile college admissions cheating scandal, PEOPLE confirms.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced that 16 parents allegedly involved in the college scandal — including the Full House actress and her husband — had been charged in a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury in Boston on fraud and money laundering charges.
The new charge is in addition to the charge the 16 parents already faced of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud.
On March 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced the initial charges against 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Loughlin, as well as college coaches from top universities and high-powered business owners. They were accused of such activities as falsifying SAT scores and lying about their athletic skills, among other allegations.
Huffman, 56, pleaded guilty to giving $15,000 to cheat on the SATs on behalf of her daughter, though Huffman says her daughter was unaware of the scheme.
Loughlin was arrested in Los Angeles on March 13. She is now free on $1 million bond.
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Prosecutors alleged in the original criminal complaint against the couple that Loughlin paid $500,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes. Singer has since admitted his role as the ringleader of the scam and has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.
According to the complaint, Singer and Loughlin discussed IRS audits of the KWF in wiretapped phone calls.
“They’re always worried about things going on in foundations,” Singer said.
“I see,” Loughlin replied, and then later said, “So we — so we just — so we just have to say we made a donation to your foundation and that’s it, end of story.”
According to the superseding indictment, Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly “[conspired] to launder the bribes and other payments in furtherance of the fraud by funneling them through Singer’s purported charity and his for-profit corporation, as well as by transferring money into the United States, from outside the United States, for the purpose of promoting the fraud scheme,” a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office states.
An arraignment date for the couple has not been set.
They face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each charge.
Calls to attorneys for Loughlin, Giannulli and Huffman were not immediately returned.