More than a year after being indicted in the nationwide college admissions scandal, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are facing the music.
Giannulli’s sentencing began at 11:00 a.m. ET. The 57-year-old fashion designer sat next to his attorney, Sean Berkowitz, and wore a dark suit on the Zoom. Loughlin, 56, is set to be sentenced at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The couple was arrested in March 2019 for allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes to ensure their daughters would be accepted into the University of Southern California as crew recruits even though they do not play the sport. Loughlin and Giannulli share daughters Bella Giannulli, now 21, and Olivia Jade Giannulli, now 20. While the twosome initially pleaded not guilty, Loughlin and Mossimo changed their pleas in May. During Friday’s hearing, Judge Nathaniel Gorton signed off on the designer’s plea deal, which includes five months in prison, two years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.
After agreeing to the terms of his plea deal, Judge Gorton reprimanded the father of three. (Mossimo is also the father of adult son Gianni from a previous relationship.)
“You are an informed, smart businessman. You certainly knew better,” the judge said. “You were not stealing bread to feed your family. You have no excuse for your crime and that makes it all the more blameworthy.”
Judge Gorton added that the designer created a “breathtaking fraud” that affected his family.
Loughlin and Mossimo were among nearly 30 parents to plead guilty in the case, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues by prosecutors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Kearney also spoke at the hearing, telling Mossimo he displayed “a complete disregard for right and wrong” and a “privileged and entitled attitude.”
Kearney also called attention to accusations that the couple instructed Olivia Jade to conceal the scheme from her high school guidance counselor. She told Mossimo that he acted “above the law” and essentially asked that adviser, “Don’t you know who I am?”
Scroll through for all of the details of the virtual hearing and check back after Loughlin is sentenced at 2:30 p.m. ET:
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