Lori Loughlin made an enormous mistake after she was indicted on mail fraud for the nationwide college admission scandal.
The “Fuller House” star and her husband clothing designer, Mossimo Giannulli, denied any wrongdoing immediately so the federal prosecutors slapped a money laundering charge, amongst others, which has the potential of landing them in prison for forty years.
And one former federal prosecutor thinks Lori Loughlin will be found guilty and serve time because of one word they claimed about her defense strategy.
The FBI charged “Full House” star Lori Loughlin after she allegedly donated $500,000 to the University of Southern California’s Crew team so her daughters could gain illegal entry into the prestigious private university.
Loughlin and Giannulli were amongst 50 others charged in the nationwide FBI probe and maintained their innocence from the get-go. Even actress Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives” and “When They See Us”) pled guilty almost immediately – bribing someone for $15,000 to alter her daughter’s SAT scores, which is why she’ll only spend several months behind bars.
A source close to the family told People recently, “Lori’s situation has gone from bad to worse. Jail time has always been a possibility, but since more charges were filed her reality [of not serving time] seems grim. While the fact she could serve time never leaves her mind, she strongly believes she doesn’t deserve to. She truly feels it was all a misunderstanding.”
And a former federal prosecutor believes the Hollywood power couple will lose in court because their strategy is “weak.”
Part of Lori Loughlin’s legal team leaked information about their defense strategy over the last several weeks and it was confirmed in federal court on Monday.
The strategy’s basics boils down to Loughlin and Giannulli not knowing they paying to William “Rick” Singer, the alleged mastermind of the admissions scheme, would be used to bribe university administrators or coaches.
According to former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani that strategy, “completely contradicts the evidence in the case and is a weak defense, at best. Just like a drug mule doesn’t have to know he or she is transporting drugs, just something illegal, the prosecution doesn’t have to prove that the parents knew that the payments to Singer were to be used to bribe college coaches.”
He would know about drug mules too because he tried drug cases all the time when he was in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego in the early 2010s.
Rahmani summed up by saying, “(The parents) just need to know their payments were for unlawful or fraudulent purposes.”
That part is easy to prove by the federal prosecutors. Were both of your daughters legitimately accepted into the USC? No? Then what did you think the $500,000 was for? Neither daughter were on USC’s Crew Team so why would you donate money to that specific department? That’s a checkmate by the prosecutors.
But if it couldn’t get any worse for their defense; the indictment cites messages and recorded phone conversations, that the parents discussed having Singer arrange to have their children’s college entrance exams boosted or to have them falsely designated as athletes who could be recruited by a university’s sports team.
So there’s that too.
It looks like they’ll spend a lot of time in prison if convicted instead of about 1-2 years they would’ve likely received if they had admitted guilt and taken the plea immediately.