College admissions bribery scandal: More celebrity parents to go on trial

College admissions bribery scandal
Actress Lori Loughlin faces October trial in college bribery scam. Source: AFP/Joseph Prezioso

American actress Lori Loughlin will go on trial on Oct 5 in Boston over bribery charges related to the US’s wide-ranging college admissions scandal, US prosecutors said Thursday.

The star of 1980s-90s sitcom “Full House” and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying US$500,000 to get their children into the University of Southern California.

Prosecutors say they paid the money in 2016 and 2017 to get their two daughters into the prestigious school as members of the rowing team despite them never having played the sport.

Loughlin, 55 and Giannulli, 56, will be tried alongside six other defendants.

They deny charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to fraudulently transfer funds and conspiracy to commit bribery. The charges can carry penalties of up to 45 years in prison.

College admissions bribery scandal

Felicity Huffman exits the John Joseph Moakley Us Courthouse after appearing in Federal Court to answer charges stemming from college admissions scandal on Apr 3, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Source: AFP/Paul Marotta

The pair are among 50 people indicted in the elaborate scam – all being prosecuted in Massachusetts – to help children of the elite secure places in top US colleges.

“Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced in September to two weeks in jail after admitting paying US$15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT college entrance exam score.

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

Other universities targeted in the scam include Stanford, Yale, Georgetown and UCLA. None of the schools or the students have been charged in the case.

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