Lawyers: 'Devastating' New Evidence in Loughlin Case

Notes turned over by prosecution prove her innocence, defense team says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2020 7:40 AM CST
Lawyers: New Notes Prove Lori Loughlin Is Innocent
In this April 3, 2019, file photo, actress Lori Loughlin, front, and her husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, left, depart federal court in Boston.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Lawyers for Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, said Wednesday that new evidence shows the couple is innocent of charges that they bribed their daughters' way into the University of Southern California. An attorney for the couple said in a legal filing that prosecutors provided the defense with notes written by the admitted ringleader of the college admissions cheating scheme that support the couple's claim that they believed their payments were legitimate donations, not bribes, per the AP. "This belated discovery ... is devastating to the government's case and demonstrates that the government has been improperly withholding core exculpatory information, employing a 'win at all costs' effort rather than following their obligation to do justice," attorney Sean Berkowitz wrote.

Lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli—accused of paying $500,000 to get their daughters into USC as crew recruits, though neither was a rower—have argued the couple thought the payments were "legitimate donations" that would go directly to USC as a fundraising gift or to support the charity of college admissions consultant Rick Singer, who has pleaded guilty to orchestrating the scheme. The new info provided to the defense includes notes written by Singer detailing his discussions with FBI investigators about recorded phone calls he had with parents, per Berkowitz. Singer said in his notes that the FBI told him to lie by saying he told the parents who participated in the scheme that their payments were bribes, the attorney said. A judge was expected to set a trial date for the parents at a Thursday hearing at Boston's federal court. The couple's attorneys are asking the judge to postpone the setting of that date in light of the new evidence.

(More Lori Loughlin stories.)

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