Long Island native Lori Loughlin continues making headlines for the wrong reason, this time pleading not guilty to charges related to a college admission scam.
Loughlin - who attended Oaks School #3 Elementary School in Oceanside and graduated from Hauppauge High School - and her husband, fashion designer J. Mossimo Giannulli, waived their right to appear in court for arraignment and pleaded not guilty on Monday in Boston federal court.
The “Full House” star and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes in an effort to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as recruits for the team, despite the fact that neither was involved in rowing.
According to the Justice Department's indictment, Loughlin and Giannulli made payments in 2016 and 2017 to former USC Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel and to Key Worldwide Foundation, which was operated by college admissions consultant Rick Singer, who is at the head of the entire controversy.
The indictment states that "on or about Nov. 29, 2018, Singer called Loughlin from Boston. During the call, Singer said, in sum and substance, that [Key Worldwide Foundation] was being audited by the IRS, which was asking about the two payments of $200,000 by the Giannullis.
“Singer added: "So I just want to make sure that you know that, one, that you're probably going to get a call and that I have not told them anything about the girls going through the side door, through crew, even though they didn't do crew to get into USC. So I—that is—all I told them was that you guys made a donation to our foundation to help underserved kids.”
Loughlin reportedly replied, “Um-hmm.”
Other stars, including Westchester native Felicity Huffman, were also implicated in “Operation Varsity Blues” and have since pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme. Loughlin and her husband are among more than a dozen parents who were recently indicted on charges of money laundering and fraud conspiracy.
"I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney's Office," Huffman said in a statement last week. "I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done.
"My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
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