Lori Loughlin, 55, confessed to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud

By Steve Helling
August 21, 2020 05:35 PM
Advertisement
Lori Loughlin
| Credit: TheImageDirect.com

A contrite Lori Loughlin addressed the court on Friday as she was sentenced to two months in federal prison for her role in the high-profile college admissions cheating scandal.

"I made an awful decision," she told the judge after she was sentenced. "I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process. 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 continued.

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were 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.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Mossimo Giannulli and Lori Loughlin
| Credit: L. Cohen/WireImage

Both originally pleaded not guilty before eventually deciding to take a plea deal.

On May 22, Loughlin, 55, confessed to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and one count of honest services wire and mail fraud.

According to the criminal complaint against them, the actress and her husband were accused of paying $500,000 to Rick Singer and Key Worldwide Foundation to falsely designate their daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, 20, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither of them ever participated in the sport.

Olivia Jade Giannulli
Isabella Giannulli

In addition to her jail time, she will serve 2 years of probation, pay a $150,000 fine and complete 150 hours of community service.

As she addressed the court, Loughlin acknowledged that her already-privileged children received additional help that was not available to other applicants.

"More broadly and more importantly, I now understand that my decision helped exacerbate existing inequalities in society, generally, and the higher education system, more specifically," she said.

"That realization weighs heavily on me and while I wish I could go back and do things differently, I can only take responsibility and move forward. I have great faith in God and I believe in redemption.  And I will do everything in my power to redeem myself and use this experience as a catalyst to do good and give back for the rest of my life."

"Your Honor, I’m truly, deeply and profoundly sorry and I’m ready to accept the consequences and make amends," she concluded. "Thank you for your time."

It's unclear when Loughlin and Giannulli will report to prison.