Thursday, October 28, 2021

Lori Loughlin released after 2 months in prison for role in college bribery scandal

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Lori Loughlin has been released from prison after serving nearly two months for her participation in the college admissions scandal.

Loughlin was released on Monday from a federal correctional facility in Dublin, California, after originally surrendering to authorities in late October.

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The Fuller House actress, who was among numerous high-profile individuals identified as engaging in illegal methods to ensure their children were accepted into prestigious colleges, completed her prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in May.

Loughlin’s role in the nationwide scandal, which included more than 50 parents, saw her pay half a million dollars in bribes to get her and husband Mossimo Giannulli’s two daughters into college.

Giannulli, a fashion designer, is currently serving a five-month sentence at a prison in Lompoc near Santa Barbara, California, for his role in the scandal.

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The couple used the monetary bribe to ensure it appeared as if their daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli, 20, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, had been recruited to the University of Southern California’s crew team, despite never having participated in the sport.

After pleading guilty for their involvement in the scheme, a judge accepted the couple’s plea deal, which required Loughlin to serve two months in jail, pay a $150,000 fine and serve 150 hours of community service, while Giannulli was sentenced to five months in jail and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service.

The couple was ordered to surrender to authorities on 19 November but authorities agreed that Loughlin could start her sentence on 30 October. She also agreed that she would not seek early release on coronavirus-related grounds, prosecutors said.

Giannulli is scheduled to be released on April 17, according to authorities.

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During her sentencing in August, Loughlin expressed regret over the couple’s involvement, calling it an “awful decision”.

At the time, she said she wanted to “take responsibility and move forward” and “use this experience as a catalyst to do good”.

Loughlin’s release comes after the couple’s daughter Olivia broke her silence regarding the admissions scam during an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s talk show Red Table Talk earlier this month.

“I think that what hasn’t been super public is that there is no justifying or excusing what happened,” she said. “Because what happened was wrong.”

The 21-year-old, who revealed she hadn’t heard from either of her parents since they began their prison sentences, also said she believes she deserves a “second chance” to redeem herself.

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