Federal prosecutors asked for a judge to sentence actress Lori Loughlin to two months in prison and her fashion-designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, to five months for their roles in a widespread college-admissions cheating scandal that rocked higher education.
The sentencing memo filed Monday with the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts also recommends a $250,000 fine and 250 hours of community service for Giannulli and a $150,000 fine and 100 hours of community service for Loughlin for a scheme to get their two daughters accepted to the University of Southern California by falsely painting them as elite athletes.
“The crime Giannulli and Loughlin committed was serious,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin O’Connell wrote in the memo, adding, “They involved both their daughters in the fraud, directing them to pose in staged photographs for use in fake athletic profiles and instructing one daughter how to conceal the scheme from her high school counselor.”
The couple’s daughters have not been charged with any crimes stemming from the probe.
A lawyer for the couple did not immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on Tuesday.
Prosecutors announced in May that Loughlin agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and Giannulli to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud in connection to the scheme with mastermind Rick Singer.
Giannulli deserves more time behind bars because he “was the more active participant in the scheme,” according to the sentencing memo. “Loughlin took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit.”
The actress and fashion designer are scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.
The recommended punishments “account for the seriousness of the offenses, and in particular Giannulli and Loughlin’s repeated and deliberate conduct, their decision to allow their children to become complicit in crime,” the prosecutors’ filing said.
In winning their daughters spots at the private university in Los Angeles, Giannulli and Loughlin falsely portrayed the young women as elite crew athletes worthy of special consideration.
Prosecutors said the oldest daughter was copied on an email from Giannulli to Singer that included a picture of her posing on a rowing machine.
They also allege that the parents instructed their younger daughter not to answer any questions from her high school counselor if he asked about her being flagged as a crew-team recruit. Giannulli later confronted that counselor “aggressively” and “bluntly stated that (his younger daughter) was a coxswain,” according to the memo.
At the onset of the investigation into the massive admissions scandal, authorities said they had no interest in going after any of the children who benefited from the schemes.
Loughlin and fellow actress Felicity Huffman were the two biggest names caught up in the scandal.
Huffman served 11 days of a 14-day sentence in October.