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Actor Lori Loughlin was released from prison on Monday following a two-month stint behind bars for her role in an infamous college bribery scheme.
The “Full House” star was one of several wealthy parents implicated during “Operation Varsity Blues,” the notorious admissions scandals that shined a light on parents buying their kids’ way into prestigious schools. In many of the cases, parents spent tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per child to gain admission into their desired schools. Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, paid $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of the girls had participated in the sport competitively.
Shortly after the scandal broke in 2019, Loughlin's daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, were no longer enrolled at USC.
Loughlin was released from a federal lockup in Dublin, California Monday morning, the Federal Bureau of Prisons told the Associated Press. Giannulli remains behind bars as he serves his five-month sentence at a prison near Santa Barbara. He’s expected to be released in April.
The husband and wife both took plea deals earlier this year, each admitting guilt to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. Giannulli also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of honest services wire and mail fraud.
“I made an awful decision," Loughlin said back in August. "I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process. In doing so, I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass. I thought I was acting out of love for my children, but in reality it only undermined and diminished my daughters’ abilities and accomplishments."
Her daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli appeared on a recent episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk,” where she described what her parents did as a “big mistake.”
Nearly 60 parents and others were charged in “Operation Varsity Blues.” Actor Felicity Huffman is yet another high-profile parent implicated. Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison last year after pleading guilty to paying college admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer $15,000 to make her daughter's SAT scores look better.
Of the nearly 60 parents, about a dozen are still fighting the allegations.
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