Full House star jailed for college scam
Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli will both be jailed over the college admissions scandal.
The couple were both sentenced during hearings over Zoom on Friday, with Loughlin receiving two months and Giannulli five.
In a short statement, an unemotional Giannulli said: "I deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others.
"I take full responsibility for my conduct. I am ready to accept the consequences and move forward with the lessons I've learned from this experience."
In accepting the plea deals, Judge Gorton said the prison terms were "sufficient but not greater than necessary punishment under the circumstances".
Gorton scolded Giannulli for what he described as "breathtaking fraud" made possible by his wealth and privilege.
"You were not stealing bread to feed your family. You have no excuse for your crime and that makes it all the more blameworthy," the judge told Giannulli before officially sentencing him.
Giannulli was ordered to surrender November 19.
His wife, Full House star Lori Loughlin, was sentenced just hours later.
Judge Gorton accepted Loughlin's plea deal with prosecutors, however Assistant US Attorney Justin O'Connell said Loughlin wasn't content with the advantages her children already had thanks to their wealth and "was focused on getting what she wanted, no matter how and no matter the cost."
He said prison time was necessary to send a message that "everyone no matter your status is accountable in our justice system".
In a later statement, O'Connell said: "Loughlin opted to cheat so her children could steal two admissions spots from more capable, deserving students".
The claims appeared to bother Loughlin, according to an NBC reporter.
Loughlin appeared calm, showing little emotion as her attorney BJ Trach said she was "profoundly sorry" for her actions.
She also told the court that she "made an awful decision. I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage".
Under the plea deal, Giannulli will also pay a $250,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service. Loughlin will pay a $150,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.
Unlike most plea agreements, in which the judge remains free to decide the defendant's sentence, Loughlin's and Giannulli's proposed prison terms were binding once accepted.
The famous couple's sentencing comes three months after they reversed course and admitted to participating in the college admissions cheating scheme that has laid bare the lengths to which some wealthy parents will go to get their kids into elite universities.
They are among nearly 30 prominent parents to plead guilty in the case, which federal prosecutors dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues".
It uncovered hefty bribes to get undeserving kids into college with rigged test scores or fake athletic credentials.
Assistant US Attorney Kristen Kearney said Giannulli displayed "a complete disregard for right and wrong," and a "privileged and entitled attitude".
"This disrespect of right and wrong deserves a meaningful sentence of imprisonment," she said.
Loughlin and Giannulli had insisted for more than a year that they believed their payments were "legitimate donations" and accused prosecutors of hiding crucial evidence that could prove the couple's innocence because it would undermine their case.
The verdict received mixed reactions on social media, with the majority of users reacting unfavourably to the pair's short sentences.
i've studied for the sat longer than the amount of time lori loughlin is going to prison for cheating on it MAKE IT MAKE SENSE— aniket (@pand3a) August 21, 2020
I'll be surprised if she serves two weeks. What a joke! Black people have gotten multiple years for far less than what Lori Loughlin did. #WhitePrivilege— Marlo1128 (@marlo1128) August 21, 2020
This article originally appeared on the Sun and was reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Full House star jailed for college scam
Underprivileged black woman criminalized 4 simply changing the address so her son can school in a better district while a rich white woman barely gets criminalized for intentionally committing a crime to get her child into college— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) August 21, 2020
Tanya McDowell- 5 YEARS
Lori Loughlin- 2 MONTHS pic.twitter.com/Yw9Ew2QcqF