Loughlin, Giannulli plead in college scam but await fate

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FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2019, file photo, Lori Loughlin departs federal court with her husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, left, in Boston, after a hearing in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. Loughlin and Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty in a video arraignment scheduled for Friday, May 22, 2020, to charges of trying to secure the fraudulent admission of their two children to the University of Southern California as purported athletic recruits. (AP Photo/Philip Marcelo, File)

“Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded guilty Friday to paying half a million dollars to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as part of a college admissions bribery scheme, but a judge has not decided whether he’ll accept the deals they made with prosecutors.

The famous couple appeared on separate screens during their video hearing, both sitting with a lawyer, showing no emotion as the prosecutor detailed their crimes and making no comments other than to answer questions from U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton.

Under their proposed deals, Loughlin, 55, hopes to spend two months in prison and Giannulli, 56, is seeking to serve five months.

But the judge said he will decide whether to accept the deals after considering the presentencing report, a document that contains background on defendants and helps guide sentencing decisions.

Gorton did not say when he would decide but scheduled their sentencing hearings for Aug. 21.

Loughlin and Giannulli were among dozens of wealthy parents, athletic coaches and others charged last year in the bribery scheme. The parents paid hefty bribes to get their kids into top universities with bogus test scores or fake athletic credentials, authorities said.

The couple have been scheduled to go to trial in October on charges that they got their two daughters into USC as crew recruits, even though neither girl was a rower. Prosecutors say they funneled money through a sham charity operated by college admissions consultant Rick Singer, who has pleaded guilty to orchestrating the scheme.

Prosecutors recorded phone calls and emails showing the couple worked with Singer to get their daughters into USC with fake athletic profiles depicting them as star rowers. In one email, Singer told Loughlin and Giannulli he needed a picture of their older daughter on a rowing machine in workout clothes “like a real athlete.”