Lori Loughlin pleads not guilty over college admissions bribery scheme

Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli were among parents indicted last week on fraud charges.

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband are pleading not guilty to charges they took part in a sweeping college admissions bribery scam.

Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli said they are waiving their right to appear in Boston federal court for their arraignment and plead not guilty to the two charges against them.

The judge must approve their request for a waiver to appear.

Lori Loughlin
Loughlin and her husband plead not guilty (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The couple is charged with paying 500,000 US dollars (£381,000) in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither is a rower.

Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom Full House, and Giannulli have not publicly addressed the allegations against them.

They are among 50 people charged in the nationwide scam, which authorities say also involved rigging college entrance exam scores.

It is the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. The scandal embroiled elite universities across the country and laid bare the lengths to which status-seeking parents will go to secure their children a coveted spot.

The couple and more than a dozen other parents were hit last week with a money laundering conspiracy charge on top of the mail fraud conspiracy charge they were already facing.

Several other indicted parents have also filed court documents entering not guilty pleas.

Fellow actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in ABC’s Desperate Housewives and 12 other parents have agreed to plead guilty. Huffman is scheduled to appear in Boston on May 21 to enter her plea.

Felicity Huffman
Actress Felicity Huffman is pleading guilty (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Rick Singer, the consultant at the centre of the scheme, pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy on March 12, the same day the allegations against the parents and coaches were made public in the so-called Operations Varsity Blues investigation.

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