Lori Loughlin, husband rejected college official's 'legitimate' offer for admission help: Emails
Prosecutors released more than 400 pages of emails, phone call transcripts and other evidence recovered
Hundreds of pages of court papers and evidence released by prosecutors in the sweeping college admissions scandal show actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, opted not to take the “legitimate” option to get their daughters into college, despite a school official's offer to help.
One email from the 484 pages of messages, phone call transcripts and other recovered evidence shows officials from Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughters’ school were “quite surprised to hear they were being admitted as athletic recruits.”
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“School doesn’t think either of the students are serious crew participants. Sister, [redacted] is not on the online crew roster for this year. They are daughters of actress Lori Loughlin,” the email further states, regarding the Giannulli daughters.
Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade Giannulli were admitted to the University of Southern California in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying approximately $500,000 to create nonexistent positions for their daughters on the University of Southern California’s crew team even though neither had ever taken part in the sport. The parents were initially charged in March and have consistently pleaded not guilty.
The parents are allegedly part of a vast conspiracy ring that came to light in March in which more than 50 parents were charged in a federal investigation now known as “Varsity Blues.”
In October, the couple and nine others were hit with new charges for conspiracy to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California to facilitate their children’s admission, the Department of Justice said in a press release.
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But their legal team is arguing they believed their payments were “legitimate donations” made through alleged mastermind William “Rick” Singer and they did not intend for the money to be used as a bribe, court papers show.
An attorney for the couple did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request seeking comment Thursday.
The emails also show Mossimo Giannulli was contacted Sept. 27, 2016, by a USC official who offered to “flag” one of his daughter’s applications – which would have been a legitimate option for the couple, court records show.
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But Mossimo Giannulli instead told the official they were “squared away.”
He then forwarded the email to Lori Giannulli, presumably Lori Loughlin, and wrote: “The nicest I’ve been at blowing off somebody.”
Meanwhile, just days earlier, on Sept. 21, 2016, the couple heard from Singer that their daughter's profile was “being made as a coxswain,” the crew athlete who steers the boat.
A month earlier, on Aug. 18, Singer emailed the parents the following: “Lori and Moss, I met with USC today about [redacted] I need a PDF of her transcript and test scores very soon while I create a coxswain portfolio for her. It would probably help to get a picture with her on an ERG in workout clothes like a real athlete too.”
Mossimo Giannulli responded: “Fantastic. Will get all.”
Months later, after Isabella Rose Giannulli had been officially accepted to USC, Mossimo Giannulli allegedly sent another email to an unidentified person, boasting about his daughter’s accomplishment – and what measures he took to achieve it, court papers show.
“Good news my daughter [redacted] is in SC…. bad is I had to work the system.”
The message was signed, “M/.”
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The partially redacted evidence dump also includes evidence from other parents, such as Hyannis Port Capital Inc. CEO and president John Wilson, who discussed plans to write off his alleged bribes as a business expense.
“Thanks again for making this happen! Pls give me the invoice. What are the options for the payment? Can we make it for consulting or whatever from the key so that I can pay it from the corporate account ?” he asks.
Singer responds: “Yes we can send you an invoice for business consulting fees and you may write off as an expense.”
Wilson, a Massachusetts real estate developer, was accused of paying $220,000 to get his son into USC.
The 59-year-old was indicted Tuesday on one count of filing a false tax return. He has previously pleaded not guilty to federal charges including money laundering, wire fraud and federal programs bribery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.