Got A Tip?

Star Seeker

Business Blitz

Lori Loughlin & Mossimo Giannulli INSIST Prosecutors Hid Key Evidence Proving Their Innocence In College Admissions Scandal

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli present more evidence in the College Admissions Scandal.

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, once again, have doubled down on their innocence in Operation Varsity Blues.

On Friday, the embattled couple ramped up their defense by filing new court documents that claim the government knowingly withheld critical evidence about their alleged involvement in a nationwide college admissions scandal to force them into a guilty plea.

We heard about this trial strategy less a month ago but according to a new report published by TMZ, there’s supposedly enough evidence to prove the Fuller House actress and her designer hubby did not know they were participating in a bribe when they allegedly paid $500,000 to ensure Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose admission to the University of Southern California.

Related: Lori & Mossimo Put Their Mansion Up For Sale Amid College Admissions Scandal

In the new legal docs obtained by the outlet, Lori and Mossimo claim the money they gave Rick Singer to get their daughters into school was a payment they believed was going to the university itself “for legitimate, university-approved purposes—or to other legitimate charitable causes.” In other words, just another pair of rich folks giving a nice donation to a prestigious institution! But here’s the thing…

The filing said that for months the government claimed it didn’t have any exculpatory evidence showing the payment was not a bribe to then USC Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel. As it turns out, the feds did eventually cave and released a testimony from Singer that does make it seem like the pair had no idea their money was intended to line Heinel’s pockets.

As noted in the court documents, Singer’s testimony included the following:

“Rick Singer has advised the government, in sum and in substance, that … the families that do the side door …typically do not know that Heinel is involved until the time of the first payment. Giannulli and Loughlin thought their payment of $50,000 went directly to USC’s program.”

Things get even more interesting as the docs also stated:

“The government clearly acknowledges that Giannulli and Loughlin’s alleged ‘bribe payments’ did not go to any USC official personally, but rather went to USC itself.”

As for the rest of the money involved, Singer allegedly told prosecutors Lori and Mossimo “thought their $200,000 payment went to [Singer’s charity] with some of the funds then ‘going to a USC program.'”

The parents-of-two argue the feds should’ve disclosed all of this back in May when the court demanded it.

Lori Loughlin Daughters Olivia Jade Bella Trial Witness Problems
Olivia Jade (right) pictured with her mom (center) and sister Bella (left). / (c) Adriana M. Barraza/WENN

As we previously reported, prosecutors did release nearly 500 records, including emails, purporting to show the true extent and nature of the embattled couple’s alleged involvement in the scandal. But apparently, they left out this key detail which could really give the Giannullis a dog in this fight.

Basically, this helps proves the pair’s case that USC itself was aware of the apparent bribery and fraudulent activities with various parents and students, so much so that payments sent to the school from all kinds of sources and would be families had become an “institutionalized, university-wide program at USC.”

In fact, in the docs, it was said the school “has an institutional practice of tightly intertwining admissions and fundraising.” They point to, then, USC Athletic Director Pat Hayden, who reportedly said Lori and Mossimo were “good for a million plus” in connection with their daughters’ admission.

The couple’s lawyers argued while the government withheld this evidence, prosecutors “launched a months-long campaign to pressure Defendants into pleading guilty” and only released this latest bit of evidence after the pair refused to back down.

Loughlin and Giannulli are among 15 other parents still fighting charges in Operation Varsity Blues. Specifically, the two are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, honest services fraud, money laundering and federal programs bribery, and have plead not guilty to all charges.

Perezcious readers, do U think any of this new info will have an effect on legal proceedings set for this October? Let us know in the comments section (below)…

[Image via Dimitri Halkidis/WENN]

Related Posts

Feb 01, 2020 09:05am PDT