Lori Loughlin Released After Posting $1 Million Bond In College Admissions Cheating Scandal

A judge allowed the actress to keep her passport for now so that she is able to continue working on a project in Vancouver. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Digital Original
Hollywood Actresses, Others Indicted in College Admissions Scam

Actress Lori Loughlin has been released on a $1 million bond after turning herself in to authorities Wednesday.

Loughlin, who is known for playing Aunt Becky on “Full House,” was released shortly after appearing in a federal court in Los Angeles for her alleged role in a college admissions cheating scheme, according to NBC News.

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes for their daughters to be designated as crew team recruits at the University of Southern California crew team, although neither girl had any prior crew experience.

On Wednesday a judge allowed the actress to keep her passport to continue working on a project in British Columbia. Loughlin was reportedly in Vancouver for work with authorities showed up at the door of her Los Angeles home Tuesday to arrest her. She arranged to turn herself in the following day after flying back home.

She will have to surrender the passport by Dec. 1, 2019, unless she obtains a court order to keep it.

Giannulli was released on a $1 million bond on Tuesday. The couple used their house to secure both bonds.

Loughlin and Giannulli are each facing charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud for their role in the scheme that has ensnared 50 people, including fellow actress Felicity Huffman.

According to a federal affidavit released in the case, the couple requested help from a third party to get their oldest daughter, Isabella Rose Giannulli, admitted to schools other than Arizona State University.

“We just met with [our older daughter’s] college counselor this am. I’d like to maybe sit with you after your session with the girls as I have some concerns and want to fully understand the game plan and make sure we have a roadmap for success as it relates to [our daughter] and getting her into a school other than ASU!,” Giannulli allegedly wrote to a cooperating witness in the case.

After learning their daughter was at or below the “low end” of admission standards for USC, they allegedly agreed to use bribes to have her designated as a crew team recruit at the school, even sending a photograph of their daughter on an ergometer as part of the ruse.

They are accused of using the same scheme again to help their younger daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, gain admission into the school. The young YouTube star was reportedly on the luxury yacht of a USC official when news of the scandal broke, People reports.

Loughlin is scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston on March 29.

The mastermind behind the college bribery scheme, William Singer, pleaded guilty to one count each of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice Tuesday. He admitted to devising a series of schemes offered to wealthy family members to falsify college entrance exams, bribe test administrators, falsely certify students as athletes and even lie about student’s ethnicities and backgrounds to improve their chances of getting admitted to select colleges. 

He later turned against the very families who were using his services, by wearing a wire and cooperating with federal investigators.

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