Actress, 15 others hit with money-laundering charge
Actress Lori Loughlin and 15 other parents implicated in the college admissions scandal have been indicted on charges of money laundering and fraud conspiracy, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
The indictments came one day after 13 parents and one coach said they would plead guilty in the farreaching scheme.
The indictments unsealed Tuesday do not preclude deals for the holdouts. But unlike the parents who agreed to plead guilty a day earlier, the group indicted Tuesday – which also includes Loughlin’s husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, financier Douglas Hodge and Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavs – now face two charges: fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.
If convicted, the indicted parents will likely face weightier sentences than those who have agreed to plead guilty.
Fifty people, including 33 parents, have been charged in the scheme, orchestrated by Newport Beach, Calif., college consultant William “Rick” Singer. Singer has admitted to offering wealthy parents a smorgasbord of illicit entry points into top universities, from rigged entrance exams to college coaches who would recruit the children of his clients for six-figure bribes.
Actress Felicity Huffman said Monday she would plead guilty to one charge of fraud conspiracy and apologized to her daughter, saying she had “betrayed” her “in a misguided and profoundly wrong way.” Prosecutors said Huffman paid $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT score doctored; Huffman said the girl “knew absolutely nothing” about the scheme.
With one exception, all 33 parents charged in the scheme have either signed plea agreements or been indicted. Three parents had previously been indicted, and prosecutors asked a judge on Monday for more time to discuss a deal with Toby MacFarlane, saying that MacFarlane, a San Diego parent, would probably plead guilty without being indicted.