Lori Loughlin’s Attorney Files Motion To Dismiss Charges In College Admission Scandal

14 defendants involved in the recent college admissions scandal, including Full House actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli, recently filed a collection of official motions to dismiss the charges made against them in the fall. The attorneys for all of the defendants sent a memo to the Massachusetts federal court, arguing that the charges should be dismissed because “the venue was chosen to accommodate the government’s venue preferences.”

The motion continued on to state that “the alleged scheme involves moving defendants, residing outside of Massachusetts, conspired outside of Massachusetts, with an individual from outside of Massachusetts to obtain admission to universities outside of Massachusetts. For Moving Defendants, the purported crimes have no connection to Massachusetts which could establish a venue.” 

Embed from Getty Images

Venue in the federal court system is the location in which a criminal case is heard, obviously. The venue is always decided based on several specific factors; where the plaintiff or defendant lives/conducts business, and where the crime took place being the main two. In another motion, Loughlin’s attorney specifically stated that her and her husband shouldn’t be charged with “honest services fraud” because at the time in which the scandal took place, Loughlin and Giannulli claim they didn’t purposefully participate in a quid pro quo with the University of Southern California. Instead, the couple thought they were just making a donation to the school, and had no knowledge that their money would be used to benefit administrators. 

Rick Singer was the mastermind behind the entire operation, in the memo to the Massachusetts federal court, it’s stated that Singer’s phone records prove that the government  “coerced Singer to lie when making his scripted, recorded calls to his clients long after their children had been admitted.” 

Embed from Getty Images

The memo also claimed that government officials told Singer specifically not to talk about the calls in which he told Loughlin, and his other clients, that the money would be used as donations going towards the school and university programs, not towards bribing the school’s coaches/administration. 

The defense is arguing mainly that the government mishandled the evidence involved in this case and used Singer as a prop to coerce more charges to be brought out from his continued communication with his clients. Another motion argues a lot of the evidence that the government did obtain during that time is invalid because they misled the courts in the initial trials to get it. 

All 14 defendants are being charged with money laundering, so their attorney’s other main argument is that the charge doesn’t match the crime, as money laundering would mean that the parents knowingly wrote out checks to Singer’s foundation. Part of that argument is also calling for the defendants “conspiracy to defraud testing companies of property and honest services” charge should be dropped for the same reason; the specifics of the charge don’t match up with the crime itself. 

Should the charges not be dropped, most of the defendants will likely move to make another motion that would separate them from their group indictment charge. They would base that motion off the idea that all 14 defendants have different cases with different specifics as well. As of right now, however, due to coronavirus concerns, the trial is likely not to actually start until October of this year.

Man in Prison

Longest Prison Sentence In College Admissions Scandal Has Just Been Made

Toby MacFarlane, a 56 year old former California insurance executive from Del Mar, is the most recent to be sentenced in the now infamous college admissions scandal that has been rocking the media as of late. MacFarlane received the longest sentence made thus far and will be serving six months in prison for paying upwards of $450,000 to get both of his children into the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits, the same specific crime committed by actress Lori Loughlin, according to FOX

MacFarlane specifically paid $200,000 to William Singer, the man who acted as the middleman for twelve of the parents involved in the scandal, to pay USC athletic directors off in order to get his daughter admitted to the school as a soccer recruit back in 2014. Additionally MacFarlane paid $250,000 three years later to get his son into USC as a fake basketball recruit (FOX). The money paid allowed MacFarlane’s children to be accepted into the university as “All American” athletes. Singer pocketed most of the bribe, but around $50,000 was taken from both sets of payment and paid to USC athletics official Donna Heinel. Heinel is the same individual who helped Loughlin’s kids also get admitted to the school as Crew recruits. She has pleaded not-guilty to her federal charges and is awaiting trial. 

According to CNN, MacFarlane will also have to pay a fine of $150,000, perform 200 hours of community service upon release, and will most likely be put on probation a year after his release. His son attended the university for a few months but didn’t end up graduating from it, due to the scandal breaking, and his daughter graduated from the university in 2018, both kids never once stepped foot on an athletic field. 

To get away with it, CNN reports that MacFarlane claimed the payments on his taxes as business expenses, as he was working as a senior executive of the World Financial Group’s Title Insurance Company at the time, so he was able to get tax deductions on the bribes. So far he has paid back the IRS $80,000 of the money he pocketed since being arrested. Also since his arrest MacFarlane lost his job and professional license working in insurance.

“I was entering the most serious personal crisis of [my] life when Singer entered [my] life. My marriage was falling apart, and I was being treated for anxiety, depression and insomnia. I knew it was wrong, but at the time I was feeling completely overwrought and all I could think of was not having to worry about my kids getting into college. Foolishly and selfishly, I took what seemed like an easy way out,” MacFarlane wrote in a letter to the court. 

Prosecutors were anything but sympathetic to this letter, as MacFarlane used the scam not once but twice, and with three years in between each other. Personal turmoil is often never a viable excuse in the court of law, as every human being is going through hardships, but that doesn’t mean everyone else turns to criminal behavior to cope, especially when the individual is one of high financial power and status. 

“Many people experience similar hardships without turning to criminal conduct. By repeating the scheme for his son, MacFarlane demonstrated that it was not just a “transitory lapse in judgment,” Prosecutors wrote in court documents.

More than 50 individuals total have been charged due to their involvement with this scandal. So far, 19 have pleaded guilty to their charges and 15 have contested.

Prison Cell

From ‘Full House’ To The Big House

Lori Loughlin, along with eleven other parents, are now facing a new charge of “conspiracy to commit program bribery” after pleading not guilty to their original charges. Loughlin could potentially face up to 45 years in prison if indicted on all charges.