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A former assistant coach who's believed to have aided Lori Loughlin in getting her daughters into college by helping falsely present them as student athletes has pleaded guilty.
Laura Janke, formerly an assistant coach in women’s soccer at the University of Southern California, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit racketeering, USA Today reports. Prosecutors allege Janke and Loughlin — as well as Loughlin’s husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and dozens of other wealthy parents and coaches — partook in a college admissions bribery scheme masterminded by Rick Singer, the owner of a college prep business.
Dozens of parents are accused of having paid Singer hundreds of thousands of dollars to help their children get into top schools, which he allegedly did by methods like falsifying their SAT scores or arranging to have fake student athlete profiles created for them.
Janke has been accused of creating numerous profiles for the children of Singer’s clients, including Loughlin’s daughters, who were accepted into USC as rowing team recruits despite not being athletes.
Assistant US Attorney Eric Rosen said in court Tuesday that Janke continued to work with Singer, making the profiles even when she was no longer with USC, CNN reports.
“Pretty much every school that required a falsified profile was created by Ms. Janke,” Rosen said.
Janke entered a guilty plea as part of an agreement with prosecutors, which also stipulates that she give up the money they say she pocketed for her role in the scheme — $134,213 — and cooperate with authorities as they continue to investigate the multi-level bribery plot, USA Today reports.
In exchange for working with investigators, federal prosecutors have reportedly suggested that Janke not face the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and instead receive a punishment of around 27 to 33 months behind bars, according to the outlet. She will also be expected to pay a fine and restitution in amounts that have yet to be disclosed, in addition to submitting to one year of supervised release.
Janke, who opted not to comment to USA Today after the hearing, is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on October 17.
Loughlin and Giannulli, who have been accused of paying $500,000 to Singer for his services, have both pleaded not guilty to one charge of money laundering conspiracy as well as another charge of mail fraud conspiracy.
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