Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli sentenced: A look at the scandalous legal battle and where are they now
Actress Lori Loughlin has been sentenced to two months in prison and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will serve five months in the college entrance exam cheating scandal
The legal battle for the college admissions scandal has been ensuing for over a year now. Actress Lori Loughlin — who is known for her stint in ‘Full House’ and ‘Fuller House’ — was sentenced to two months in prison on August 21, 2020, for her involvement in the infamous college admissions scandal. She will pay a $150,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. Meanwhile, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service.
As per a Fox News report, Judge Nathaniel M Gorton sentenced the two in line with terms of their plea deals laid out months ago. Fighting back tears, Loughlin reportedly appeared in a white blouse virtually via Zoom and said, "I made an awful decision. I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process and in doing so I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass." She then added, "I have great faith in God, and I believe in redemption and I will do everything in my power to redeem myself and use this experience as a catalyst to do good."
According to the same report, her attorney BJ Trach said she is "profoundly sorry" for her actions and added, "Lori lost the acting career she spent 40 years building." Highlighting the struggles through her childhood, Trach said Loughlin's "family lived paycheck-to-paycheck" while growing up. He also said "she didn’t attend college because her family couldn’t afford it" but "was determined to succeed for herself and for her family from a young age".
Meanwhile, Giannulli reportedly said: "I do deeply regret, as (attorney) Sean (Berkowitz) said, the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife, and others. I take full responsibility for my conduct, I'm ready to accept consequences and move forward with the lessons I've learned from this experience." Both have 60 days to pay the fine and will report to a facility before 2 pm on November 19, Fox News reports.
A look back at the legal battle
Back in 2019, a controversy arose in connection with an alleged nationwide college entrance exam cheating scandal. Dubbed as the code name Operation Varsity Blues, the investigation and related charges were made public on March 12, 2019, by United States federal prosecutors. "Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states and charged in documents unsealed on March 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston," a statement from the US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts read at the time.
Over 53 people have been charged and at least 33 parents were accused of paying more than $25M between 2011 and 2018 to William Rick Singer, who organized the scheme and used the money raised to bribe college officials and raise exam test scores. The famous couple was also among those parents and while they initially pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from $500,000 payments to get their daughters, Isabella and Olivia Jade, into the University of Southern California's crew team, they were charged with conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud and later released on bail.
It was only in mid-2020 that the couple shocked America after pleading guilty just like fellow celebrity Felicity Huffman did. As per the Fox News report, the ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress served 11 days of a planned two-week sentence. Loughlin "pleaded guilty to one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud", and her husband pleaded “guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud".
Where are Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli now?
As per several reports, Lori and Mossimo haven't stepped out in the public. Recently, Daily Mail reported that the couple sold their multi-million dollar Bel-Air mansion for $18.75M to Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen — at a price which is nearly 50% less than the original $35M when it was listed in 2017. Although they removed it initially, it was re-listed for $28.65M in January 2020 and went on to use the property as collateral for their $2M bail for the fraud charges, according to People.
A source informed the magazine that they were in no rush to make a sale and would take their time to find the right buyer. "They don’t need the money," the source said at the time. "They are stressed about a lot of things, but money isn’t one of them." Another insider previously had told the magazine, "Mossimo has been buying, refurbishing and renovating and selling houses for over 20 years." People magazine also reported the couple owns a beach home in Orange County, and they are believed to be staying there.
The latest news is that the couple has purchased a house, nearly 12,000 sq ft, worth $9.5M in Hidden Hills, California, according to People magazine. According to Variety, the house is done up in a two-tone blend of white paint and varnished wood siding. It features a colossal foyer with soaring ceilings and clerestory windows. There is a marble fireplace and a unique ceiling with parallel rows of skylights, while the dining room lies directly across from a temperature-controlled wine closet and can easily seat a dozen guests. The kitchen is extravagant with custom white cabinetry, marble countertops and a bevy of high-end appliances. There’s also a grassy lawn and swimming pool surrounded by a wide patio. Other spaces include a home gym, a movie theater and an office space.
Moreover, according to 2019 Forbes report, the couple has a combined estimated net worth of $88M, $80M of which comes from Giannulli. According to Celebrity Net Worth, after his first year in business, Giannulli profited $1M.