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More guilty pleas in college admissions scandal

People in Florida who have followed the college admissions scandal may be aware that actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty and served two weeks in jail. The former CEO of PIMCO spent nine months in prison for his participation. One of the other most prominent people involved in the scheme, actress Lori Loughlin, has also agreed to plead guilty along with her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.

The scandal involved parents paying bribes so their children would be admitted to prestigious colleges. In the case of Loughlin and Giannulli, they paid $500,000 to ensure that their daughters would be admitted to the University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team on paper although neither were involved in the sport. Federal prosecutors and the FBI brought charges in 2019. Loughlin agreed to a guilty plea of one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud while her husband’s guilty plea will be for one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.

Loughlin also agreed to serve two months in prison while Giannulli will serve five months. They must pay fines of $150,000 and $250,000, respectively, and Loughlin will also be required to serve 100 hours of community service. Giannulli will serve 250 hours. Both will have 24 months of supervised release.

These types of fraud charges are often referred to as white-collar crimes. However, people should not make the assumption that they are not serious or that they will necessarily get off lightly. People who are questioned in relation to a white-collar crime may not realize they are or could become the focus of the investigation, and those who are in this situation may want to consider having an attorney present even if they do not think they have broken a law.

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