Earlier today, Kristian reported that Lori Loughlin, formerly Aunt Becky/possible future inmate 73945, was considering copping a plea deal so that she can get in and out of prison like fellow college admissions scammer Felicity Huffman. If that’s the direction Lori wants to go, then she might want to keep an index card handy with an itemized list of her no-nos. Because TMZ says she and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have just been hit with even more charges, and it would be so embarrassing to forget something when they plead guilty.
As we all know, Lori and her husband Mossimo Giannulli allegedly spent $500,000 to bribe their daughters’ way into USC with some fake rowing credentials (helpfully arranged by Rick Singer, allegedly). The U.S. Attorney out of Boston has just filed a charge called Federal Program Bribery against Lori and Mossimo, accusing them of bribing officials of a university that receives federal funding. NBC News says that Lori and Mossimo aren’t the only ones who got hit; 11 of the 15 parents initially charged in Operation Varsity Blues have been hit with it too.
USC is the oldest private research university in California, which technically makes it a private school (as opposed to UCLA, which is considered a public research university). However, it does receive federal funding, like many private universities. Uncle Sam doesn’t play around when you’re caught messing with his money so this could get even messier.
TMZ notes that this new charge carries a possible 5 year prison sentence. With all her other charges, Lori is already looking at 40 years. But of course, she definitely won’t end up doing 45 years. If she doesn’t take a plea deal and a jury finds her guilty, she’ll be inside for at least 14 days (which would beat Felicity’s time). But there’s a chance this latest charge will light a fire under Lori and Mossimo’s asses that will have them speed-walking into court with their hands held out, begging a judge, “Please sir, can you spare us a plea?” Or Lori and Mossimo can test their luck, try to fight that Federal Program Bribery charge and all their other charges, and hope that either the jury finds them innocent, or the judge goes easy when it comes to sentencing.
Andrew Lelling, the United States attorney for the District of Massachusetts, released the following statement against the latest charges:
“Our goal from the beginning has been to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud. The superseding indictments will further that effort.”
This most recent charge drags the federal government into things, and here’s hoping that it inspires Donald Trump to get involved. Hey, this is already a full-blown mess, so why not make it even messier? “Aunt Becky tried to scam this great country, she won’t get away with it. SAD. I can say this – Vicky Larson never would have tried such a thing.”