Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were handed a major setback in the ongoing college scam case. A federal judge refused to dismiss the charges against them on Friday, ruling that federal agents and prosecutors may have made mistakes in the case but didn’t engage in any misconduct during the investigation.
“After consideration of the extensive briefing, affidavits, and other information provided by the government and defendants, the Court is satisfied that the government has not lied to or misled the Court,” U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton wrote Friday night. “The defendants’ motion to dismiss the indictment or in the alternative to suppress evidence and order an evidentiary hearing...is DENIED,” reports The Boston Globe.
Loughlin, along with a dozen other defendants, filed a dismissal motion back in March. Their defense has argued that the couple thought they were making a donation to the school, and that federal agents coached admissions counselor William “Rick” Singer not to offer any explanation to the contrary in his calls with them in October.
On April 25, federal prosecutors offered an explanation about notes from Singer in a memo, and denied claims of misconduct.
“At the time he never considered what he was doing was a bribe and he had several arguments with the agents over the word bribe,” the memo states. “He thought he was doing something wrong but legal, but didn’t know for sure until his attorney explained that it was illegal. Singer stated that he always knew he was doing a quid pro quo, and now he understands that is the same as bribery.”
In his ruling, the judge wrote that agents for the FBI and IRS declared that they did not instruct Singer to lie and that prosecutors “admitted that this late disclosure was a mistake and that the notes should have been provided much earlier.”
He also decided not to block recordings of phone conversations between Singer and the defendants in the case as evidence, meaning they will be heard at the eventual trial. Loughlin and Giannulli are facing bribery, fraud, and money laundering charges for allegedly paying $500,000 to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California. The trial is currently set for October.