LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, husband of TV actress Lori Loughlin, was sentenced this morning to five months behind bars for his efforts to get the couple's daughters admitted to USC as crew team recruits, even though neither girl played the sport.
Giannulli was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston.
The sentencing hearing in Boston federal court took place over Zoom, hours before Loughlin's own sentencing, expected at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time.
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton said he believed the Giannulli sentence is “sufficient but not greater than necessary under the circumstance.''
If the judge accepts Loughlin's plea deal, she will serve two months in prison, pay a fine of $150,000, and serve two years of supervised release including 100 hours of community service.
The couple were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to the mastermind of the scheme, corrupt college admissions counselor Rick Singer, to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, accepted into USC as crew recruits.
After a year of insisting on their innocence, the 56-year-old actress pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while her husband pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
As part of the scheme, Loughlin and Giannulli sent fake crew recruiting profiles to Singer that included bogus credentials, medals and photos of one of their daughters on a rowing machine. Neither daughter is now enrolled at USC.
“The crime Giannulli and Loughlin committed was serious,'' prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “Over the course of two years, they engaged twice in Singer's fraudulent scheme. They involved both their daughters in the fraud, directing them to pose in staged photographs for use in fake athletic profiles and instructing one daughter how to conceal the scheme from her high school counselor.''
According to the memo, evidence suggests Giannulli, 57, was the more active participant in the scheme.
“He engaged more frequently with Singer, directed the bribe payments to USC and Singer, and personally confronted his daughter's high school counselor to prevent the scheme from being discovered, brazenly lying about his daughter's athletic abilities,'' federal prosecutors wrote. “Loughlin took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit, eagerly enlisting Singer a second time for her younger daughter, and coaching her daughter not to `say too much' to her high school's legitimate college counselor, lest he catch on to their fraud.''
More than 50 people have been charged in the scheme. Of 38 parents charged, 26 have pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from the two weeks given to “Desperate Housewives'' star Felicity Huffman to a nine-month term imposed on Doug Hodge, former head of a Newport Beach-based bond management firm.
Huffman was released Oct. 25 from a low-security federal prison camp in Northern California 11 days into a 14-day sentence for paying to have a proctor correct her daughter's answers on a college-entrance exam.
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