BOSTON — “Full House” Actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and other prominent parents urged a judge Wednesday to dismiss charges against them in the college admissions bribery case, accusing prosecutors of “extraordinary” misconduct.
“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 lawyers wrote.
The U.S. attorney's office in Boston declined Wednesday to comment.
Loughlin and Giannulli are scheduled to go on trial in October on charges that they paid $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits even though neither girl was a rower. Prosecutors say they snapped photos of the girls sitting on rowing machines to help make fake athletic profiles that portrayed them as star athletes.
Six other wealthy parents accused of participating in the scheme will stand trial alongside them. Another six parents are scheduled to face trial in January.
Singer wrote in the notes that FBI agents yelled at him and told him to lie to get parents to say things in recorded phone calls that could be used against them. Singer wrote that FBI agents told him to say that he told parents the payments were bribes.
“They continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where there money was going — to the program not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment,” Singer wrote, according to the filing.
“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.
Instead of immediately handing over the notes when they first saw them in Oct. 2018, prosecutors “buried" the evidence and repeatedly told the
“While withholding the notes and many other examples of material exculpatory information, the government attempted to coerce defendants into pleading guilty by threatening that if they did not, they would face additional charges,” the parents' lawyers wrote.
Singer’s notes weren’t given to the
Nearly two dozen other parents have pleaded guilty in the case, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to two weeks in prison for paying $15,000 to have a proctor correct her daughter’s SAT answers.
Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press