Prosecutors say Lori Loughlin’s husband rejected ‘legitimate approach’ to get his daughter into USC

Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli appear to have rejected a ‘legitimate approach’ that would have helped one of their daughters get into USC and instead chose to use their wealth to get her into college, prosecutors say.

The details have been revealed in new court documents that have been released in the massive ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ scandal.

One of the documents appears to be an email that showed Loughlin’s husband, Giannulli, joking with his wife about rebuffing a USC official who had agreed to review the college entrance application of one of their daughters.

Lori Loughlin, center, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, behind her at right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston in August. They are alleged to have paid $500,000 to get their daughters into USC

Lori Loughlin, center, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, behind her at right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston in August. They are alleged to have paid $500,000 to get their daughters into USC

Lori Loughlin, center, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, behind her at right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston in August. They are alleged to have paid $500,000 to get their daughters into USC

Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are now fighting the charges in the Varsity Blues scandal. They are seen outside court in April

Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are now fighting the charges in the Varsity Blues scandal. They are seen outside court in April

Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are now fighting the charges in the Varsity Blues scandal. They are seen outside court in April 

'The nicest I've been about blowing off somebody,' Giannulli, 56, allegedly wrote in an email to his wife, according to the documents prosecutors filed in Boston federal court

'The nicest I've been about blowing off somebody,' Giannulli, 56, allegedly wrote in an email to his wife, according to the documents prosecutors filed in Boston federal court

‘The nicest I’ve been about blowing off somebody,’ Giannulli, 56, allegedly wrote in an email to his wife, according to the documents prosecutors filed in Boston federal court

The email, made public by federal prosecutors, detailed a conversation Giannulli appeared to have with had with a USC official in September 2016. 

The official offered to look at the couple’s daughter’s application to USC but was allegedly told by Giannulli: ‘I think we are squared away.’

‘The nicest I’ve been about blowing off somebody,’ Giannulli, 56, allegedly wrote in an email to his wife, according to the documents prosecutors filed in Boston federal court after declining the help of the USC administrator. 

Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli are among more than 50 people, including 35 monied parents who were indicted last March in the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty and are fighting the charges.

Lori Loughlin's daughters Olivia Jade and Bella Giannulli enjoyed one another's company while out and about in Beverly Hills last week

Lori Loughlin's daughters Olivia Jade and Bella Giannulli enjoyed one another's company while out and about in Beverly Hills last week

Lori Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade and Bella Giannulli enjoyed one another’s company while out and about in Beverly Hills last week

If convicted, they could each face a prison sentence of up to 20 years, according to prosecutors.

The couple is fighting charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors allege that bribes to William ‘Rick’ Singer, a one-time college entrance guru who masterminded the scam, was disguised as donations to fund programs for ‘disadvantaged youth.’

Loughlin and Giannulli are alleged to have paid $500,000 in bribes to Singer in exchange for having their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, designated as recruits for USC’s crew team despite neither having ever taken part in the sport. 

Singer pleaded guilty to his role in the scam and is cooperating with the government’s investigation. 

In another batch of documents that were filed in court recently, prosecutors released evidence of  Loughlin and Giannulli’s alleged participation in the scheme according to USA Today

Over a series of emails between Singer and Giannulli, Singer told how he would make their daughter look like a real ‘coxswain’. 

‘In August 2016, Singer told the Giannullis the he would ‘create a coxswain profile’ for their daughter, and noted that ‘[i]t would probably help to get a picture with her on an ERG [an indoor rowing machine] in workout clothes like a real athlete too’,’ the court documents state.

‘In fact, the Giannullis’ daughter did not row crew, and was not a coxswain,’ the documents state, ‘Yet, Giannulli, copying Loughlin, replied, ‘Fantastic. Will get all.”

Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to paying $500,00 to get their daughters, 20-year-old Olivia Jade and 21-year-old Isabella Rose  into college

Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to paying $500,00 to get their daughters, 20-year-old Olivia Jade and 21-year-old Isabella Rose  into college

Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to paying $500,00 to get their daughters, 20-year-old Olivia Jade and 21-year-old Isabella Rose  into college

Giannulli is then alleged to have emailed Singer a photo of his daughter posing on an ergometer rowing machine.

Loughlin and Giannulli have said that evidence in the case will ultimately show the couple were under the impression they were making proper donations to USC rather than bribes. 

In court documents, the couple have argued ‘universities – as part of their legitimate admissions process – regularly solicit donations from the families of prospective students, and… such donations can have a material effect on admissions decisions.’

Prosecutors have declared such ‘exculpatory evidence simply does not exist’ and have accused Loughlin and Giannulli of ‘relying on a sanitized renditions of the facts.’

A trial date has yet to be confirmed with further ‘status conference’ hearings scheduled for January 17 and another next month.

As part of their defense, the pair hope that FBI interview statements from Singer will be able to prove they did not know that their donations would be used as bribes. 

The Fuller House star and designer are charged with money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, honest services mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery. 

Approximately 53 people have been accused in Operation Varsity Blues and fellow actress Felicity Huffman recently completed a short stint in jail after she pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to get one of her daughters into college. 

Last month, a source close to the actress said she thought the money they allegedly paid via Singer's nonprofit organization, was going directly towards the California university

Last month, a source close to the actress said she thought the money they allegedly paid via Singer's nonprofit organization, was going directly towards the California university

Last month, a source close to the actress said she thought the money they allegedly paid via Singer’s nonprofit organization, was going directly towards the California university

THE FULL LIST OF PEOPLE CHARGED WITH COLLEGE ADMITTANCE SCAM

THE STARS

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli spent $500,000 getting their two daughters into USC, according to prosecutors

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli spent $500,000 getting their two daughters into USC, according to prosecutors

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli spent $500,000 getting their two daughters into USC, according to prosecutors 

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli

Actress Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo are among the three most well known names on the list. They have two daughters, Olivia, 20, Isabella, 19, and Mossimo also has a son from a previous relationship. It is not clear which of their children is in college.  

Olivia is a YouTube star who has amounted millions of fans online but she is also enrolled at USC, as is their 19-year-old daughter Isabella. 

They allegedly paid $50,000 to get their oldest daughter into USC under the guise that she was a crew coxswain when in fact she does not row crew. 

Felicity Huffman is accused of paying a $15,000 bribe to get her oldest daughter Sofia into USC

Felicity Huffman is accused of paying a $15,000 bribe to get her oldest daughter Sofia into USC

Felicity Huffman is accused of paying a $15,000 bribe to get her oldest daughter Sofia into USC 

Felicity Huffman 

Huffman is best known for her role on Desperate Housewives. 

She is married to fellow actor William H. Macy but he has not been charged in the indictment. 

The pair have two daughters, Sofia, 18, and Georgia, 16.

Huffman is accused of paying $15,000  to have her daughter’s exam proctored by Mark Riddell. 

Riddell was described by authorities as ‘just a really smart guy’ who would either sit tests for students, change their answers afterwards or help them actively while they took it in one of two test centers that was ‘controlled’ by the scheme’s ‘mastermind’ Rick Singer. 

Huffman allegedly used the scheme in December 2017 but the indictment does not specify how Riddell allegedly helped her daughter. 

She considered using it for her youngest daughter, Georgia, but decided in the end that she did not need to, according to authorities.  

THE COLLEGE PROFESSORS, COACHES AND ‘MASTERMIND’

William Rick Singer, the ‘mastermind’ 

Rick Singer ran The Key, a college preparation business

Rick Singer ran The Key, a college preparation business

Rick Singer ran The Key, a college preparation business 

Singer is accused of leading the scam. 

He led a college counseling program and, according to prosecutors, also ran a fake charity through which he funneled bribes.

The scam worked in two ways; he would have people come into the exam to correct students’ answers and he also then bribed sports coaches to offer them scholarships, in some cases for sports they did not even play. 

Singer cooperated with authorities as part of the investigation and continued taking bribes after he had been contacted by police. 

Some of his conversations were recorded by police who obtained a wire tap to listen in. He is facing a maximum of 65 years behind bars and has pleaded guilty on all counts he was charged with. 

It remains unclear if he will be given leniency given his cooperation. 

Rudolph Meredith 

Meredith is a women’s soccer coach at Yale. In his bio on the college’s website, he is heralded as the ‘winningest’ coach, with 24 seasons under his belt. 

Mark Riddell 

Riddell is the director of IMG Academy , a college entrance exam preparation company.  

Rudolph Meredith, the women's soccer coach at Yale

Rudolph Meredith, the women's soccer coach at Yale

Mark Riddell, the director of IMG Academy

Mark Riddell, the director of IMG Academy

Rudolph Meredith, the women’s soccer coach at Yale (left) and Mark Riddell, director of IMG Academy 

John Vandemoer 

Vandemoer is the head sailing coach at Stanford.   

Gordon Ernst 

Ernst is the head of women’s tennis at the University of Rhode Island. 

He taught at Georgetown in the past and worked as a personal tennis coach for Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, while they were in the White House. 

John Vandemoer is the head sailing coach at Stanford

John Vandemoer is the head sailing coach at Stanford

Gordie Ernst was Michelle Obama's private tennis coach when she was First Lady. He is now the head of women's tennis at the University of Rhode Island.

Gordie Ernst was Michelle Obama's private tennis coach when she was First Lady. He is now the head of women's tennis at the University of Rhode Island.

John Vandemoer (left) is the head sailing coach at Stanford. Gordie Ernst was Michelle Obama’s private tennis coach when she was First Lady. He is now the head of women’s tennis at the University of Rhode Island.

Houmayoun Zadeg

Homa H Zadeh is a professor at USC. He is the Associate Professor and Director, Advanced Education Program in Periodontology. 

Michael Center

Center is the men’s soccer coach at the University of Texas.  

Homa H. Zadeh, a profesor at USC

Homa H. Zadeh, a profesor at USC

Michael Center, the men's soccer coach at University of Texas

Michael Center, the men's soccer coach at University of Texas

Homa H Zadeh (left) is a professor at USC. Michael Center (right) is the men’s soccer coach at the University of Texas.

Donna Heinel 

Heinel is the senior women’s athletics director at USC. She is alleged to have accepted a $50,000 from Lori Loughlin and her husband, among others, for admitting fraudulent tests.

Laura Janke 

Janke is a former assistant soccer coach at USC. She allegedly took payment from Loughlin and her husband for their youngest daughter. 

Donna Heinel is the senior athletic director at USC

Donna Heinel is the senior athletic director at USC

Laura Janke is a former assistant soccer coach at USC

Laura Janke is a former assistant soccer coach at USC

Donna Heinel (left) is the senior athletic director at USC. Laura Janke (right) is a former assistant soccer coach

Ali Khosroshahin 

Khosroshahin is the head women’s soccer coach at USC. 

Jovan Vavic

Vavic is the head coach for the men’s and women’s water polo teams at USC. 

Ali Khosroshahin is the head women's soccer coach at USC

Ali Khosroshahin is the head women's soccer coach at USC

Jovan Vavic is the head of men's and women's water polo teams at USC

Jovan Vavic is the head of men's and women's water polo teams at USC

Ali Khosroshahin (left) is the head of women’s soccer at USC and Jovan Vavic is the head of the men’s and women’s water polo teams at USC 

Igor Dvorskiy

Dvorskiy is the president of the West Hollywood College Preparatory School and he worked at the West Hollywood Test Center where he turned a blind eye as the cheating happened for $10,000 at a time. 

Niki Williams 

Williams worked as a test administrator at one of the test centers Singer told parents he ‘controlled’. She was a teaching assistant for Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas. 

PARENTS 

Bill McGlashan  

McGlashan is a prolific private equity investor who is the founder and managing partner of the firm TPG Growth. 

He is also at the helm of The Rise Fund, a social impact fund he launched with Bono. 

Gregory and Marcia Abbott 

New York couple Gregory and Marcia Abbott, 68 and 59, were also named. 

Gregory Abbott is the founder and chairman of International Dispensing Corp., a successful food and beverage packaging company. 

The couple, who have homes in New York City and Aspen, Colorado, allegedly paid a total of $125,000 to have someone take the ACT and SAT subject tests for their daughter so she could gain entrance to Duke University. 

Bill McGlashan

Bill McGlashan

Gregory Abbott

Gregory Abbott

Bill McGlashan and Gregory Abbott are pictured

Gamal Abdelaziz

Abdelaziz stepped down as president and COO of Wynn Resorts in 2016.

He is accused of bribing Donna Heinel, the senior women’s athletics director at USC, to recruit his daughter for the basketball team in 2017. 

According to court documents, his daughter played high school basketball but was not gifted enough to get recruited as an athlete so he arranged for her to be one.  

He then made a $300,000 ‘donation’ to the fictitious charity run by ‘ringleader’ Rick Singer and then made monthly $20,000 payments directly to Heinel. 

His daughter got into the college but never joined the basketball team, according to the documents. 

In a phone call with the fixer, they said: ‘I’m not going to tell the IRS anything about the fact that your $300,000 was paid to Donna– Donna Heinel at USC to get [your daughter] into school even though she wasn’t a legitimate basketball player at that level.’   

Jane Buckingham 

Buckingham is the owner of the now defunct market research firm, Youth Intelligence.  She sold the company in 2003. 

She is charged in the scheme for allegedly paying $50,000 to have someone else take her son’s ACT exam in July 2018 because he had tonsilitis. 

Buckingham sent a handwriting sample for her son to a test taker and had him take a fake exam at home so he wouldn’t know about the fraud, court documents indicate. 

Gamal Abdelaziz

Gamal Abdelaziz

Jane Buckingham

Jane Buckingham

Gamal Abdelaziz, the president and COO of Wynn Resorts (left) and Jane Buckingham, the owner of the now defunct market research firm Youth Intelligence 

Gordon Caplan

Caplan is a financial attorney and partner at the firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City. He lives in Connecticut.

He allegedly paid $75,000 to have Singer arrange a proctor to corrected his daughter’s answers after she took the ACT in November or December 2018. 

Robert Flaxman 

Flaxman is the CEO, Co-founder, Crown Realty & Development, Inc, a real estate company based in Orange County. 

Gordon Caplan

Gordon Caplan

Robert Flaxman

Robert Flaxman

Gordon Caplan (left) is a financial attorney and partner at the firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City. Robert Flaxman (right) is the CEO, Co-founder, Crown Realty & Development

Agustin Huneeus 

Vineyard owner Huneeus owns a range of wines that are produced in Napa Valley. 

He allegedly participated in both the college entrance exam cheating scheme and the college recruitment scheme for his daughter in 2017 and 2018 by conspiring to bribe Heinel and Jovan Vavic, the USC water polo coach, to facilitate his daughter’s admission to USC as a purported water polo recruit, according to the indictment. 

Elisabeth Kimmel

Elisabeth Kimmel

Agustin Huneeus

Agustin Huneeus

Elisabeth Kimmel is the former president of Midwest Television. She sold it in 2017 for $325million. Agustin Huneeus, whose family owns vineyards in Napa Valley, was also charged 

Elisabeth Kimmel 

Lis and Manuel Henriquez

Lis and Manuel Henriquez

Lis and Manuel Henriquez 

Kimmel, of Las Vegas, Nevada, is the former president of Midwest Television. She sold it in 2017 for $325million. 

She allegedly used the scheme to get her daughter into Georgetown and her son into USC by pretending the former was a tennis player and the latter was a pole vaulter. 

Kimmel ultimately facilitated $475,000 in payments to KWF, according to the affidavit.  

Toby MacFarlane 

MacFarlane and his wife Christy are well known on the San Diego social and charity circuit. 

He sits on the board of multiple companies and the family has their own trust but it is not exactly clear what he does. 

Elizabeth and Manuel Henriquez

Marjorie Klapper 

Diane and Todd Blake 

I-Hsin “Joey” Chen  

Amy and Gregory Colburn 

Marci Palatella 

Peter Jan Sartorio 

Stephen Semprevivo 

Devin Sloane 

John Wilson

Robert Zangrillo 

Steven Masera 

William Ferguson 

Martin Fox

Jorge Salcedo 

Bruce and Davina Isackson 

Mikaela Sanford

David Sidoo

Michelle Janavs   

Douglas Hodge 

Link hienalouca.com

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