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Celeb Parents Hit With New Charge in College Scandal

Lori Loughlin, 9 others charged with bribery
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 23, 2019 3:07 AM CDT
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In this Aug. 27, 2019 photo, actress Lori Loughlin departs federal court in Boston after a hearing in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
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(Newser) Full House actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, and nine other parents faced new federal charges Tuesday in a scandal involving dozens of wealthy parents accused of bribing their children's way into elite universities or cheating on college entrance exams. A grand jury in Boston indicted the parents on charges of trying to bribe officials at an organization that receives at least $10,000 in federal funding. In this case, they're accused of paying to get their children admitted to the University of Southern California, the AP reports. The charge of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Massachusetts real estate developer John Wilson was also indicted on two new counts of substantive federal programs bribery. It's the second time prosecutors have added new charges for parents pleading not guilty in the case. In April, they added money laundering to the initial charges of fraud and conspiracy. US District Attorney Andrew Lelling said the new indictment will further his goal "to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery, and fraud." Laughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC as recruits on the crew team, even though neither participated in the sport. They have pleaded not guilty. (USC says the couple's daughters are "not currently enrolled.")


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