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The husband of “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin has been sentenced to five months in prison for his role in a high-profile college admissions scandal in which wealthy, famous Americans paid large fees to get their kids into the most prestigious schools.
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton handed down the sentence to Mossimo Giannulli on Friday and is reportedly in line with his plea agreement, which was reached months ago, Fox News said.
The sentence will include two years of supervised probation and an additional 250 hours of community service.
Norton said during the hearing he believes the sentence is “sufficient but not greater than necessary under the circumstance,” according to Fox News.
Giannulli, 57, a fashion designer, appeared in Norton’s Massachusetts court via Zoom. His hearing occurred only hours before Loughlin’s, which is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Friday.
The sentence came after more than a year’s worth of legal back-and-forth after the couple at first pleaded not guilty to charges claiming they paid $500,000 to the mastermind of the scandal, William “Rick” Singer, to get daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella into the University of Southern California on the crew team though neither had ever participated in the sport.
“[Lori and her husband] claim they were under the impression they might be breaking rules, but not laws,” a source told Enertainment Tonight in April 2019. “They feel they were manipulated by those involved and are planning that as part of their defense. They realize how serious the charges are, but feel that once the judge hears their story he will see they had no bad intentions.”
But in May they changed their minds and agreed to plead guilty like fellow celebrity Felicity Huffman, who also participated in the scandal, along with 13 other parents.
Huffman, star of “Desperate Housewives,” served 11 out of 14 days in 2019 for similar criminal activity.
Giannulli agreed to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, as well as honest services wire and mail fraud. Loughlin pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
In addition to his five-month sentence and other punishment, Gianulli also agreed to pay a $250,000 fine. Loughlin agreed to serve a two-month sentence and pay $150,000 in fines. She also agreed to 100 hours of community service and two years’ worth of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling accepted the pleas.
“The crime Giannulli and Loughlin committed was serious. Over the course of two years, they engaged twice in Singer’s fraudulent scheme. They involved both their daughters in the fraud, directing them to pose in staged photographs for use in fake athletic profiles and instructing one daughter how to conceal the scheme from her high school counselor. As between the defendants, the evidence suggests that Giannulli was the more active participant in the scheme,” he wrote.
“He engaged more frequently with Singer, directed the bribe payments to USC and Singer, and personally confronted his daughter’s high school counselor to prevent the scheme from being discovered, brazenly lying about his daughter’s athletic abilities,” he added.
“Loughlin took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit, eagerly enlisting Singer a second time for her younger daughter, and coaching her daughter not to ‘say too much’ to her high school’s legitimate college counselor, lest he catch on to their fraud.”
Users on Twitter reacted to Loughlin’s upcoming hearing and sentencing by calling her “Aunt Becky,” a role she played on the reprised “Fuller House.”
(** Language warning)
Aunt Becky should’ve just accepted a plea deal and apologized from the start. Instead, she wanted to be a Karen with the Feds. https://t.co/77AJkbPCNL
— Stephanie Guerilus (@qsteph) August 21, 2020
Given that Lori Loughlin is going to prison, I think Aunt Becky may be starring in the next "Full House" follow-up series… pic.twitter.com/Za78kDaTpm
— Zak Wolf (@wiley207) August 21, 2020
Michelle wasting guards to bail out Aunt Becky who served 2 of her 5 days in prison pic.twitter.com/H5Tq7q58AQ
— tony singleton (@tonysin24808725) August 21, 2020
There is a black man serving life in prison over stealing clippers 20 years ago, an this bitch wont even spend 20 days in prison
There's also a mother STILL serving time for faking an address so her child could go to a better school, yet Aunt Becky won't serve more then 20 days https://t.co/EVMECNHi84
— TeamBobStaff (@TeamBobStaff) August 21, 2020
Aunt Becky has been working on her prison face pic.twitter.com/Cd5UDNdXI4
— Joe Nephilim (@FunnyGuyGeneral) August 21, 2020
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