Prosecutors up charges for some in college bribery scam
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday filed new charges against 16 parents involved in a college admissions scam, including actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. The parents are accused of bribing university administrators, coaches, and standardized test officials to get their children admitted to elite schools. Loughlin and Giannulli are charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of them played the sport.
The second indictment adds conspiracy to commit money laundering to the previous charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud filed against 33 parents last month. The parents indicted Tuesday allegedly funneled their bribes through a phony charity and transferred money into the United States from outside the country.
The new charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. On Tuesday, 14 parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, agreed to plead guilty to the first round of charges. It is unclear if Tuesday’s indictment is an effort to persuade the remaining parents to follow suit.
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