With trials underway in the ongoing college admissions saga, attorneys for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have filed a motion to have the trial date postponed in the bribery case. Loughlin and her husband, along with six other parents, are expected to stand trial starting on 5th October.
In a new court filing on Wednesday, shocking new details emerged for Loughlin and others involved in the case. According to documents filed by lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli, college scam leader Rick Singer was allegedly told to lie about Loughlin’s knowledge of the college admissions bribery. Details obtained by People include conversations that Singer allegedly had with the FBI. Attorneys for the couple claim the government withheld information found in Singer’s notes during the discovery process. Further, the court documents allege that the agency directed him to lie to his clients in order to incriminate them.
“Singer’s notes indicate that FBI agents yelled at him and instructed him to lie by saying that he told his clients who participated in the alleged ‘side door’ scheme that their payments were bribes, rather than legitimate donations that went to the schools,” Loughlin and Giannulli’s attorney Sean M. Berkowitz stated in the filing.
The filing further states that agents may have bullied Singer into lying to his clients about the donations because the notes demonstrate “the Government’s desire to ‘nail’ one of the defendants ‘at all costs.'” According to Singer’s notes, the FBI allegedly contacted him on several separate occasions asking him to “tell a fib” to his clients, the filing states. "Essentially they are asking me to bend the truth," Singer wrote in one of the notes.
Attorneys for the couple say the government withheld the information found in Singer’s iPhone notes while also rushing the case to trial. Berkowitz will now have to verify whether or not Singer told his clients that their donations were bribes, or donations to the school.
Earlier this week, Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavs was sentenced to five months in prison for her role in the scam. Janavs pleaded guilty on charges of fraud and money laundering, and will pay a fine of $250,000 (£194,000) in addition to completing 200 hours of community service.
Loughlin and Giannulli have been charged with three counts of conspiracy, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud; conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The couple allegedly paid $500,000 (£388,000) as part of Singer’s college admissions scheme to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California crew team.
The couple could spend up to 50 years in prison and face millions of dollars in fines if convicted. They have pleaded not guilty to all counts.