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Loughlin Claims Prosecutors Are Concealing Evidence

Lawyers say couple did not know payments would be used to bribe college officials
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2019 3:48 AM CST

(Newser) – While some celebrity parents have pleaded guilty in the college admissions bribery scandal, Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Gianulli are fighting the charges—and they say prosecutors are concealing evidence that could help clear them. In a court filing Friday, the couple accused federal prosecutors of refusing to turn over evidence that shows they believed the $500,000 they paid to USC officials and William Rick Singer, the scheme's mastermind, would be used for legitimate purposes, not for bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California, NBC reports. The daughters were designated as USC rowing team recruits, despite not having rowed competitively.

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Federal prosecutors say the money was used to bribe USC athletics official Donna Heinel, but Loughlin and Gianulli "believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself—for legitimate, university-approved purposes—or to other legitimate charitable causes," the couple's lawyers said in Friday's filing, per ABC. They face charges including mail fraud, money laundering, and bribery. They could get up to 20 years in prison if found guilty on all charges. Dozens of other wealthy parents have been charged in connection with the scandal, including Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty and served 11 days of a 14-day sentence. (One of Loughlin's daughters recently broke her silence on social media.)

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