Federal prosecutors on Wednesday put Lori Loughlin, husband Mossimo Giannulli and several other defendants in the “Varsity Blues” bribery case on blast. The parents were trying to have their indictment dismissed, alleging that prosecutors acting inappropriately toward the alleged ring-leader of the fraud, Rick Singer.
Lawyers for Loughlin and the others insisted that prosecutors forced Singer to lie to them in order to extract their admissions of alleged wrongdoing.
Here’s what the feds said in papers obtained by ET: “The defendants’ core allegations of misconduct are premised on a straw man: that this case is only about bribery. It is not. The defendants are charged with conspiring to engage in a single, sweeping scheme to gain admission for their children to college by, among other things, lying about their academic and athletic qualifications so that complicit coaches, induced by bribes styled as 'donations' to their programs, could purport to recruit them as elite athletes.”
They continue: “Just because neither scam ring leader Rick Singer nor the defendants actually used the word 'bribe' to describe the purported donations doesn’t mean that they were legitimate.”
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of shelling out $500K in bribes to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, into University of Southern California as fake crew team recruits. They have pleaded not guilty and claimed their payments were donations, not bribes.