Coach to Plead Guilty for Helping Lori Loughlin's Daughter Olivia Jade Pretend She Was on Rowing Team
On Tuesday, authorities announced Laura Janke, a former assistant coach of women’s soccer at University of Southern California, will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering
A former assistant coach at the University of Southern California who allegedly helped facilitate Lori Loughlin‘s daughter’s entry into college has agreed to plead guilty.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced that Laura Janke, a former assistant coach for USC’s women’s soccer team, will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering.
Janke, a resident of North Hollywood, was one of the 11 people who was previously indicted for their alleged role in the college admissions scandal. She is now currently cooperating with authorities, according to the press release.
If Janke is found guilty, she faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, three years of supervised release, a hefty fine, and restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office states.
Prosecutors allege that Janke, 36, helped William “Rick” Singer (the man behind the scheme) create “falsified profiles” for his wealthy clients’ children in order to get them into certain universities as recruits on their made-up athletic ability.
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Janke allegedly received an email from Singer in July 2017 asking to create a crew profile for Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli‘s youngest daughter, Olivia Jade, according to court documents obtained by CNN.
“Ok sounds good,” Janke responded, according to the documents. “Please send me the pertinent information and I will get started.”
The complaint alleged the couple devised a plan to “present their younger daughter, falsely, as a crew coxswain for the L.A. Marina Club team, and [said Singer] requested that the Giannullis’s send an ‘Action Picture,’ asking a few days later for a picture on the ‘erg’ — or rowing machine, which Giannulli did a few days later.”
The documents then state that once Olivia Jade was accepted to USC as a crew recruit, despite the fact that she did not participate in crew, Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid $50,000 to USC’s senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel.
They also allegedly paid $200,000 to Singer’s fake charity, according to documents.
Both Loughlin and Giannulli, 55, have since pleaded not guilty to the charges they face: mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
According to a source, the couple is worried that the prosecution could charge Olivia Jade and/or her sister Isabella Rose, 20, in an attempt to get them to plead guilty.
“They feel that they’re in the middle of a squeeze play right now,” said the source. “It’s very complex, legally. On one hand, they have pleaded not guilty to the offenses they are alleged to have committed. But on the other hand, they know that pleading guilty could put the matter behind the whole family.”
“They are under an enormous amount of pressure, and the idea that the girls could be prosecuted is distressing, as you can imagine,” the source continued. “That just makes the pressure worse.”
Added the source: “Lori will not do anything to put her daughters in harm’s way. She is like a mama bear when it comes to the girls, and she will do whatever she has to do to protect them from prosecution, especially malicious prosecution. Her top priority in all of this is to protect her daughters.”
In addition to the worries about her daughters, a source of the family told PEOPLE that Loughlin is reluctant to go to trial.
“It’s not in their best interest for this to go to trial, and Lori knows it,” the source said earlier this month. “She will continue to make a good faith effort to put this case behind her, and she hopes the prosecutors will do the same.”
Reps for Loughlin and Giannulli have not returned PEOPLE’s calls for comment.