LA executive in college scandal gets prison — what it means for Lori Loughlin

Lori Loughlin | 2019-09-26 08:50:45

Business executive Devin Sloane became the second parent sentenced for his role in the widespread college admissions scandal when a judge gave him four months in prison on Tuesday for paying a $250,000 bribe to get his son into the University of Southern California.

The Los Angeles executive pleaded guilty in May to fraud and conspiracy in a plea deal with prosecutors after authorities said he faked documents and even staged photos in the family's swimming pool to make his son look like a water polo star, even though he never played the sport.

Sloane's sentencing comes after actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to have a fixer cheat on daughter Sophia Grace Macy's SAT in 2017.

The judge said Huffman's lenient sentence came because she paid the smallest bribe out of the parents charged, quickly admitted guilt, and didn't involve her daughter in the scheme.

Sloane also received 500 hours of community service and a fine of $95,000.

What Felicity Huffman's sentence means for other parents charged

Sept. 16, 201902:11

The longer sentence for Sloane does not bode well for actress Lori Loughlin, a former federal prosecutor told Miguel Almaguer on TODAY Wednesday.

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud after allegedly paying $500,000 to get their two daughters admitted to USC.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges in April. Legal experts say both could face years of prison time if convicted.

"If Felicity Huffman did not get probation, none of them will,'' former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes said on TODAY. "Each sentence I think will get longer."

Actress Lori Loughlin keeps a low profile after pleading not guilty to college admissions scandal

Actress Lori Loughlin, 55, tries to keep a low profile as she pumps gas in LA after pleading not guilty to charges in the college admissions scandal

By Josh Saunders For Dailymail.com

Published: 00:31 EDT, 26 September 2019 | Updated: 01:12 EDT, 26 September 2019

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Actress Lori Loughlin has been photographed as she pumped gas in California after pleading not guilty in the college admissions scandal.

The 55-year-old star of TV show Fuller House stood in activewear gear, a large hat and dark sunglasses next to her black Mercedes Benz on Wednesday.

Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, 56, were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

They allegedly paid $500,000 to get the daughters Olivia, 19, and Isabella, 21, into the University of Southern California. The pair deny the charges.

On Tuesday, business executive Devin Sloane was the sentenced to four months in prison for his role in the scandal, after Felicity Huffman received 14 days.

Actress Lori Louglin, 55, was photographed at a gas stage covered in all black clothing including a hat, sunglasses and activewear, as she stood next to her Mercedes Benz

Loughlin appeared to frown and looked as if she wanted to keep a low profile while filling up

Louglin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli (right pic, right), 56, alleged paid more than half a million dollars in bribes to ensure Isabella Rose Giannulli (left pic, left), now 21, and Olivia Jade Giannulli (left pic, right) , now 19, could get into University of Southern California

Both Huffman and Sloane took plea deals, which is believed to have led to them receiving more lenient sentences.

They were among at least 51 parents investigated as part of the scandal named Operation Varsity Blues by FBI investigators. 

Of that figure, at least 15 have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty, according to the Washington Post.

Parents allegedly paid between $200,000 and $6.5 million for their children to be admitted into colleges and universities in America. 

If Louglin and Giannulli are found guilty many believe they could face serious punishments including lengthy prison time. 

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Huffman received her sentence on September 13 after she paid a fixer to cheat on daughter Sophia Grace Macy's SAT in 2017.

The judge also issued her an ordered she undertake 250 hours of community service and a $30,000 fine.

He noted that her punishment was less due to paying one of the smaller bribes out of all of the charged parents, as well as quickly admitting her wrongdoing and not involving her daughter in the plan.

Sloane pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy after he admitted to have used fake documents on September 25.

He also staged photographs of his son in front of the family's swimming pool in an attempt to make him look like a water polo star. In reality, he had never played.

As well as the prison time, he was sentenced to 500 hours of community service and a fine of $95,000. 

Loughlin (center) and clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli (left) departed federal court on August 27, in Boston. They are among at least 51 parents charged in Operation Varsity Blues

Felicity Huffman (left) was sentenced to 14 days in prison, along with 250 hours of community service and a $30,000 fine for her part in the college admissions scandal. She allegedly paid for a fixer to alter the SAT answers of daughter Sophia Grace Macy (right pic, left). Huffman has another daughter Georgia Grace (center left) and is married to actor William H. Macy (center)

Devin Sloane (right) was sentenced to four months in prison, 500 hours of community service and a fine of $95,000. Here he is pictured as he arrived at federal court for sentencing on Tuesday, in Boston. Sloane admitted to paying $250,000 to get his son into the University of Southern California as a fake athlete

Louglin and Giannulli are accused of paying half a million dollars in bribes to admit their daughters to USC through a sporting route - as part of the rowing team.

Similarly, neither daughter had competitively rowed. It's claimed they sent $50,000 to Donna Heinel, the senior women's associate athletic director at USC, along with $200,000 to Key Worldwide Foundation. 

The alleged bribes started when their oldest daughter, Isabella Rose Giannulli was due to go to college. The couple allegedly took a similar approach to get their youngest daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli into the school.

James Cohen, a law professor at Fordham University in New York, told USA Today that each count the couple faces carries a minimum five year prison sentence. 

He said: 'And the fines are quite substantial – in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – but the fines seem to be the least of these people’s worries.

'So you’ve got possible jail time and there will probably be more than one count in respect to each individual.  

'So you have a possibility of both jail and a significant fine on the separate counts.' 

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Where Is Lori Loughlin Now?


It's been several months since Lori Loughlin and 50 others were charged in the massive nationwide college admissions cheating scandal.

Back in March, prosecutors claimed Lori and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, paid $500,000 in bribes to scammer William "Rick" Singer to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, recruited to the University of Southern California crew team so that they could get into the college.

In response to the charges, Lori and Mossimo pleaded not guilty and rejected a plea deal, because it included jail time. Since then, they were also given additional charges of money laundering and conspiracy, which, if convicted, could mean up to 40 years behind bars for the couple.

Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, arrive at the courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019.
Getty

Where is Lori Loughlin now?

On August 27, Lori and Mossimo appeared at the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, for a hearing. Unlike her previous visit to court, where she was seen signing autographs on the courthouse steps, Lori and Mossimo slipped in through the back door.

Lori (center) and her husband, Mossimo (behind her on the right) walk out of the courthouse in Boston.
Boston Globe

According to CNN, the hearing's purpose was to sort out potential conflicts of interest with their attorneys in the case, since both Lori and her husband have selected their lawyers jointly from the firm Latham and Watkins. The firm has recently represented U.S.C., which prosecutors argued could raise a potential conflict of interest.

In the end though, U.S. Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley allowed Latham and Watkins to work with the couple. And so, Lori and Mossimo answered routine questions from the judge and agreed to be represented by the same legal team. They declined to comment after leaving the courtroom.

Looking ahead, their upcoming trial is estimated to take place in early 2020. According to US Weekly, both believe they will be "exonerated" and have been "actively engaged in their defense." Back in April, reports indicated that Lori and Mossimo may use ignorance as their defense and say they didn't realize their $500,000 was being used as a bribe.

As People reported, Lori's life is looking much different nowadays. In the wake of the scandal, she was dropped from all her Hallmark Channel projects, including her role playing Abigail on When Calls the Heart. In addition, she will reportedly not be coming back for the fifth and final season of Netflix's Fuller House.

When it comes to Lori's family life though, it seems like her daughters are both on their mom's side. On Lori's 55th birthday on July 28, Bella shared a photo with her mom to mark the occasion. One day later, Olivia also posted a picture of herself and Lori, and said, "I love you so much."

View this post on Instagram

happy birthday mama. I love you ❤️

A post shared by Bella Giannulli (@bella) on

Olivia in particular shut down outlets quoting "sources" that alleged there were problems in their family amid the news.

In light of the allegations against Lori and Mossimo though, Olivia has lost social media partnerships with Sephora, TRESemmé, and Estée Lauder.


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