After 16 months of stubbornly refusing any and all plea agreements, even as dozens of other parents arrested during "Operation Varsity Blues" - aka 'the College Admissions Scandal' - cut deals with prosecutors involving little to no jail time (though Loughlin co-defendant has already served the brief prison stint to which she was sentenced), actress Lori Loughlin (better known as "Aunt Becky" from the hit 90s sitcom "Full House") and her fashion designer husband Massimo Giannulli have both agreed to plead cuilty to fraud charges, according to the LA Times, which cited a new federal court filing.
Loughlin was arrested in March 2019 and charged with conspiring, along with mastermind Rick Singer, a Newport Beach "education consultant" who for years helped the children of celebrities and the wealthy cheat their way into elite colleges, to pass off her two daughters as promising rowing recruits, all but guaranteeing their admission to USC despite sub-standard test scores and academics, despite the fact that neither had ever rowed in their life.
The couple paid Singer $500,000 in all for his "assistance". Instead of copping a plea, the two insisted for months that Singer misled them into believing the money was for legitimate purposes despite significant evidence to the contrary. Loughlin began meeting with Singer in the Spring of 2016 to hatch a plan for Olivia Jade - her Instagram influencer daughter - to be athletically recruited to USC. Eventually, Singer bribed rowing coach Donna Heinel to designate both daughters as recruited rowers.
In an email to Singer mentioned in the LAT report, Loughlin can be seen asking to "speak" with Singer about "getting my daughter into a school other than ASU!"
Heinel has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering, bribery and fraud.
Payments to Singer were funneled through his charity, which alleged to help "underprivileged students", adding a sort of disturbing irony to the whole operation. But this setup allowed authorities to file more serious charges since many of the parents wrote off their "contributions" as charitable contributions, breaking the No. 1 most important rule of living and thriving in America: Don't screw with the IRS.
For nearly the entire time, legal experts have essentially insisted that Loughlin and Gianulli stood little chance of being acquitted at trial. Though the reasons for the deal aren't entirely clear, we imagine the couple simply got worn down by the millstone of justice.
The actress is reportedly facing up to 2 months in jail.