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Actress Loughlin pleads not guilty in college bribery scam

 

Agence France-Presse

New York, United States  /  Tue, April 16, 2019  /  01:01 pm
Actress Loughlin pleads not guilty in college bribery scam

Actress Lori Loughlin exits the courthouse after facing charges for allegedly conspiring to commit mail fraud and other charges in the college admissions scandal at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019. (AFP/Joseph Prezioso)

American actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to secure their daughters' entry into a prestigious California university, on Monday pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges.

The couple waived their right to appear before a judge to be formally accused and entered their pleas through documents filed by their attorneys, according to documents seen by AFP.

"Full House" star Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, were among the 50 people -- including "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman -- indicted in the wide-ranging college bribery scandal.

Huffman pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to boost her daughter's SAT college entrance exam score.

Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in 2016 and 2017 so that their two daughters could gain entrance into the University of Southern California (USC) by posing as members of the rowing team.

Their charges of money laundering and bank fraud carry a penalty of up to 40 years in prison.

Read also: Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin warned about discussing US college scam with their kids

The ringleader behind the college admissions scam, William "Rick" Singer, who authorities say was paid about $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities.

Besides USC, some of the universities targeted in the elaborate cheating scam include Yale, Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown. None of the schools or the students have been charged in the case.

According to prosecutors, the accused parents paid a firm run by Singer to cheat on college entrance exams for their children or to bribe coaches to help non-athletic students get scholarships.