Lawyers for actress Lori Loughlin have claimed that prosecutors are refusing to release evidence that could help prove her claims that she and her husband weren’t aware of any wrongdoing when they allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to participate in what federal prosecutors have claimed was bribery.
Loughlin, 55, and Mossimo Giannulli, 56, have been accused of paying $500,000 to the ringleader of the alleged scheme, William “Rick” Singer, to have their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, despite neither daughter having been on the crew team in high school. The pair have both pleaded not guilty to the numerous charges they face, including bribery and fraud, but as they await trial, their legal team has levied accusations of their own against prosecutors.
The couple’s attorney Sean Berkowitz claimed in court documents filed in Massachusetts’ U.S. District Court on Friday, December 13 that the prosecution has kept them away from evidence — namely, statements that Singer allegedly made during interviews with the FBI — that could help the couple’s case, PEOPLE reports.
“But the Government appears to be concealing exculpatory evidence that helps show that both Defendants believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself — for legitimate, university-approved purposes — or to other legitimate charitable causes,” the motion reads. “The Government’s failure to disclose this information is unacceptable, and this Court should put a stop to it.”
“If, for example, USC knew of Singer’s operation and accepted donations to the university from Singer’s clients as legitimate, then not only was there no bribery at USC, but also no fraud conspiracy at all,” the motion continued, according to Entertainment Tonight.
The United States Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts declined to offer comment when contacted by PEOPLE, according to the outlet.
The claims made in the motion are in line with what unnamed sources have previously alleged about Loughlin — that she and Giannulli did not think that they were doing anything wrong when they paid Singer and that they were, themselves, manipulated, Entertainment Tonight previously reported.
Loughlin and Giannulli are among dozens of wealthy parents who were charged earlier this year after Singer became a cooperating witness for federal prosecutors. Eight other parents who have also been charged in relation to the admissions scandal have had their lawyers support Loughlin and Giannulli’s recent request, according to CBS News.
The couple, along with their daughters — Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli — have remained largely tight-lipped regarding the case. USC officials have confirmed that neither Olivia Jade nor Isabella Rose Giannulli are currently enrolled at the school, but did not provide any details, citing student privacy.
Olivia Jade also recently returned to YouTube where, in her first video in months, she stated that legal complications prevent her from publicly discussing her parent’s situation.
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