Agents in college bribery probe deny bullying core witness

FILE - In this March 12, 2019, file photo, William "Rick" Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network, exits federal court in Boston after he pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. In a legal filing on Friday, April 24, 2020, prosecutors said the defense's claims that investigators bullied Singer, their cooperating witness, into lying in order to entrap actress Lori Loughlin, her husband Mossismo Giannulli and other parents were "repugnant and untrue." (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
FILE - In this March 12, 2019, file photo, William "Rick" Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network, exits federal court in Boston after he pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. In a legal filing on Friday, April 24, 2020, prosecutors said the defense's claims that investigators bullied Singer, their cooperating witness, into lying in order to entrap actress Lori Loughlin, her husband Mossismo Giannulli and other parents were "repugnant and untrue." (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Federal agents didn't entrap the wealthy parents accused of cheating the college admissions process, the man who helped investigators build their case reportedly told the FBI recently, boosting prosecutors' arguments that claims of misconduct are false.

Allegations that FBI investigators bullied the witness who helped them build their huge case into lying to trick “Full House" Lori Loughlin, her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and other parents were “repugnant and untrue," the prosecutors said in a legal filing Friday.

The witness — admissions consultant Rick Singer — agreed the investigators did not engage in misconduct, according to the FBI.

“Singer noted that the agents didn’t do anything wrong,” according to notes from an FBI interview last week with Singer.

The interview came after the judge overseeing the case ordered prosecutors to explain iPhone notes Singer wrote when he was secretly working with the government in October 2018. Judge Nathaniel Gorton called Singer's claims in his notes “serious and disturbing.”

Loughlin and Giannulli are set to go to trial in October alongside other parents on charges that they paid $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither girl was a rower.

Their lawyers say Singer's phone notes show investigators fabricated evidence and warrant a dismissal of the case. Loughlin, Giannulli and the other parents say they believed their payments were legitimate donations to the schools or Singer’s charity.

In his phone notes, Singer wrote that investigators told him to lie to get parents to make incriminating statements. The agents instructed him to say he told the parents the payments were bribes, instead of donations, according to the notes made public in legal filings.