Lori Loughlin accuses FBI of 'extraordinary misconduct', wants college bribery scam case thrown out
The couple was accused of paying $500,000 disguised as a donation to a phony Key Worldwide Foundation to get their daughters admitted in University of Southern California
On March 25, disgraced actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli told a judge that he should dismiss charges against them in the college admission bribery case, accusing prosecutors of "extraordinary" misconduct. They said, "Extraordinary misconduct warrants extraordinary relief."
According to the defense attorneys representing the couple, the case cannot stand because investigators bullied their informant into lying and then concealed evidence that would bolster the parents' claims of innocence.
Six other wealthy parents accused of participating in the scheme will also stand trial alongside Loughlin and her husband. Another six parents are scheduled to face trial in January.
"The extraordinary government misconduct presented in this case threatens grave harm to defendants and the integrity of this proceeding. That misconduct cannot be ignored," the 'Full House' actress' Latham & Watkins attorneys said.
The couple is set to go on trial in early October and could end up possibly spending up to 50 years in jail.
The couple was accused of paying $500,000 disguised as a donation to the Key Worldwide Foundation to get their daughters admitted in University of Southern California. Neither of Loughlin's daughter ever rowed before but pretended to be crew members. The scandal began to fall apart in October 2018 when Key Worldwide Foundation was audited and investigations were made into the donations made by parents whose children were admitted to USC.
Ever since they were first charged in the college admissions cheating scandal on March 12, 2019, they have maintained that they are not guilty. They said that they had no idea that the $500,000 they gave to ex-call center manager William Singer and his phony Key Worldwide Foundation were not for "legitimate donations" for university programs.
The defense said that prosecutors withheld evidence that would support the parents and argued that the couple believed the payments were legitimate donations. Notes from the phone of admissions consultant, Rick Singer, was the evidence and wasn't given to the defense until February.
Rick says that FBI agents yelled at him and told him to lie and get the parents to say things in recorded phone calls that could incriminate them. He was also allegedly asked by the FBI agents to say that he had told the parents that the payments were bribes, Rick said.
"Loud and abrasive call with agents. They continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where the money was going — to the program and not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment," Singer wrote, according to court documents.
"For government agents to coerce an informant into lying on recorded calls to generate false inculpatory evidence against investigative targets — and to then knowingly prosecute those targets using that false evidence — is governmental malfeasance of the worst kind," the lawyers wrote.
The defense said that if the judge doesn't dismiss the case, he could at least prevent prosecutors from using the "tainted recordings" at the trial and order a hearing to "uncover the full truth about the recordings and the government's efforts to fabricate and conceal evidence".
US District Judge Nathaniel Gorton has the US Attorney's office until March 27 to present their side of the evidence of seemingly "prosecutorial misconduct".