Federal prosecutors fired back at actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, slamming accusations that the department is withholding evidence and releasing one of their daughters’ allegedly bogus crew resumes, court papers show.
Prosecutors submitted the documents to the District Court of Massachusetts on Friday, three days after the Hollywood couple filed papers alleging evidence was being kept from them. Attorneys for the couple did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.
“The government has broad powers, but they do not include mental telepathy or time travel. The government cannot disclose witness statements before the witnesses make them."
Loughlin and 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. They allegedly sent photos of their daughters on ergometers, or rowing machines, on different dates months apart, court papers show.
They 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.”
Their Feb. 7 submission to the court was the second time they had brought their concern to the judge’s attention. In December, they sought evidence that would show they “believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself – for legitimate university-approved purposes – or to other legitimate charitable causes,” according to court papers.
They hoped the evidence, once revealed, would “directly undermine the Government’s theory that Defendants knew their payments would be used to bribe a rogue USC official,” according to court documents.
In mid-January, prosecutors responded by releasing more than 400 pages of emails and other evidence showing the parents opted not to take the “legitimate” option to get their daughters into college, despite a school official's offer to help.
Then, in their Feb. 7 court papers, Loughlin and Giannulli accused prosecutors of lying about turning over all its information and withholding “exculpatory evidence,” including that which pertains to “Varsity Blues” mastermind William “Rick” Singer, and using that information to launch a “months-long campaign to pressure Defendants into pleading guilty.”
But prosecutors fired back on Friday that they could not have disclosed their interviews with Singer and others – because they hadn’t happened yet.
“The government’s disclosures of statements by Rick Singer, for example, were largely based on an interview conducted in December. That is why, in its response brief, the government alerts the Court and the other parties that it anticipated ‘making supplemental disclosures to the defendants in the next few days…’” court papers state. “The government has broad powers, but they do not include mental telepathy or time travel. The government cannot disclose witness statements before the witnesses make them.”
Prosecutors also argued that they are not legally required to provide “primary materials containing exculpatory statements,” as opposed to summarizations of statements and notes, according to their Friday court papers.
In addition to their 12-page argument against Loughlin’s and Giannulli’s assertions, prosecutors released one of the couple’s daughters’ fake crew profiles, which outlines allegedly bogus accomplishments that she had purportedly achieved prior to her college acceptance. The resume lists feats, such as 11th place at “Head of the Charles-Boston,” presumably the Head of the Charles Regatta, in 2016 and 14th place in the 2017 race. Records for the Head of the Charles do not show results for anyone with the “Giannulli” name, according to the Boston Herald.
"Her sister is currently on our roster and fills the position of our #4 boat," the resume states.
Bella Rose and Olivia Jade Giannulli were admitted to the USC in 2017 and 2018, respectively. But previous court papers show the Giannulli girls’ admission to the university as future crew team members raised eyebrows at their high school.
One email from the more than 400 pages of evidence shows officials from their school were “quite surprised to hear they were being admitted as athletic recruits.”
“School doesn’t think either of the students are serious crew participants. Sister, [redacted] is not on the online crew roster for this year,” the email states. “They are daughters of actress Lori Loughlin.” The memo was addressed to Donna Heinel, a USC athletics administrator who has been charged in connection to the scheme.