Full House actress Lori Loughlin faces federal charges — including money laundering and mail fraud conspiracy — for her alleged participation in the widespread college admissions scam. Now, Loughlin and fashion-designer husband Mossimo Giannulli reportedly claim they didn’t realize the bribe they allegedly paid to get their daughters into the University of Southern California was illegal.
According to People, Loughlin and Giannulli, who currently face prison sentences for the charges, claim they thought their $500,000 payment to get Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose into college was aboveboard. A source familiar with the case said that the couple are not “criminal masterminds.” Instead, “they really didn’t know the legalities of what was going on,” the source added. “They’re not lawyers and they’re not experts. They were parents who simply wanted to make sure that their daughters got into a good school.”
The source told People that Loughlin and Giannulli believed their $500,000 payment to fraudster ringleader William “Rick” Singer — who helped get the girls into USC fraudulently as recruits for its crew team — was similar to what other wealthy people do to help get their kids into school. (But TMZ reports they knew that Singer wanted pics of the girls on a rowing machine, which, sure, sounds normal.) Per People:
“Calling in favors, donating money to the alumni association, hiring consultants. Those are all things that parents do,” says the source. “And so they gave money to this consultant, not entirely knowing everything that was going to be done. When it all fell apart, nobody was as surprised as they were that they were in trouble.”
The source adds that any crimes they committed were “inadvertent.” Well, if true, what a huge mistake to make.