Una actriz de la famosa serie “Full House” fue condenada a prisión por el escándalo de sobornos universitarios en EEUU

Lori Loughlin deberá cumplir dos meses en la cárcel, pagar una multa de USD 150.000, permanecer dos años en libertad condicional y efectuar 100 horas de servicio comunitario

La actriz estadounidense Lori Loughlin fue condenada el viernes a dos meses de prisión y una multa de 150.000 dólares tras declararse culpable en el marco de un gran escándalo de sobornos pagados por padres ricos para que sus hijos ingresaran a universidades prestigiosas.

El juez federal de Boston Nathaniel Gorton siguió las recomendaciones del fiscal federal de Massachusetts al imponer la pena en una audiencia de unos 30 minutos, organizada por videoconferencia a raíz de la pandemia de coronavirus.

La actriz de 56 años, conocida por su papel de la tía Becky en la serie televisiva “Full House” (Tres por tres) de los años 80 y 90, también permanecerá además dos años en libertad condicional tras salir de la cárcel, y deberá realizar 100 horas de servicio comunitario.

Vestida con una blusa blanca y una cadena de oro, Loughlin derramó algunas lágrimas al pedir perdón por su “horrible decisión”. “Seguí un plan para dar a mis hijas una ventaja injusta”, admitió.

La actriz dijo que luego se dio cuenta de que sus acciones solo servían “para exacerbar las desigualdades existentes”.

La pena era esperada desde que la actriz y su marido, el diseñador de modas Mossimo Giannulli, se declararan culpables en mayo del delito de fraude bancario.

Giannulli, de 57 años, fue sentenciado a cinco meses de cárcel y como su esposa, debe presentarse en la cárcel el 19 de noviembre. Su sentencia incluye una multa de USD 250.000, 250 horas de servicio comunitario y dos años de libertad condicional al salir de prisión.

A cambio de esa admisión de culpabilidad, que evita a la pareja un juicio, el fiscal federal de Massachusetts decidió no procesarlos por los otros dos delitos que les achacaba, como es frecuente en Estados Unidos, y recomendó esta sentencia relativamente leve.

Loughlin y Giannulli fueron acusados de pagar medio millón de dólares para asegurarse de que sus dos hijas entrarían a la Universidad del Sur de California (USC) como integrantes de su competitivo equipo de remo, un deporte que las jóvenes nunca practicaron.

El organizador del esquema de sobornos, William “Rick” Singer, recibió más de USD 25 millones por sobornar a entrenadores y funcionarios a cargo de admisiones universitarias, según la fiscalía. Se declaró culpable y coopera con las autoridades.

Al mismo tiempo, la actriz de “Desperate Housewives” Felicity Huffman, inculpada en el mismo escándalo, se declaró culpable de pagar USD 15.000 para que el resultado del examen de admisión universitaria de su hija fuese mejorado y pasó 11 días en una cárcel de California. Fue liberada en octubre pasado.

De las 55 personas inculpadas en el escándalo, 41 ya se declararon culpables y a cambio lograron reducir sus penas, en general a pocos meses de cárcel.

Con información de AFP

Lori Loughlin And Mossimo Giannulli Receive Prison Sentences For Admissions Scheme

Two of the most prominent figures in the college admissions scheme that the Justice Department uncovered last year are headed to prison.

Lori Loughlin, the actress best known as Aunt Becky on Full House, will serve two months in prison. Her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was sentenced on Friday to five months.

“I am truly and profoundly and deeply sorry,” Loughlin said, choking up as she apologized to U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton, Reuters reported.

They pleaded guilty in May to fraud charges related to their efforts to have their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as rowing recruits despite not practicing the sport.

The U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts announced the sentences on Twitter. Both sentences followed the terms of plea agreements between federal prosecutors and attorneys for the defendants.

Giannulli must also serve two years of supervised release following his sentence, complete 250 hours of community service and pay a fine of $250,000. Loughlin must serve two years of supervised release, pay a $150,000 fine and complete 100 hours of community service.

“I deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others,” Giannulli said in a short statement during the hearing, according to The Associated Press.

“I take full responsibility for my conduct. I am ready to accept the consequences and move forward with the lessons I’ve learned from this experience,” he added.

At the sentencing, Gorton chastised Giannulli for taking part in the admissions scheme.

“You were not stealing bread to feed your family,” Gorton said, according to the AP. “You have no excuse for your crime and that makes it all the more blameworthy.”

The wire service reported that Giannulli was ordered to surrender on Nov. 19.

The couple entered plea agreements with the U.S. attorney’s office in May. For her part, Loughlin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.

Her husband pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.

They were the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the case, according to federal officials.

Loughlin became the face of the admissions scandal, in part because of her celebrity, and also because unlike other parents accused in the elaborate scheme, she and Giannulli long maintained their innocence.

In April 2019, the couple pleaded not guilty in federal court after being accused of paying a bribe worth $500,000 in exchange for securing their daughters’ admission into USC.

The bribes were paid to William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind of the wide-ranging enterprise, which included creating bogus sports profiles for well-off parents hoping to shirk the traditional admissions process to get their children accepted to prestigious schools.

Singer is awaiting sentencing. He has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice — and now faces a prison sentence of more than 50 years. However, Justice Department officials said he is cooperating with the government’s investigation, and they have recommended a prison sentence at the lower end of the sentencing guideline range.

In all, 55 people have been charged in connection with the admissions scheme, which federal officials first announced in March 2019 in Boston.

The Justice Department framed the venture as a multimillion-dollar scheme to cheat college admissions standards.

In addition to creating sham athletic profiles, the scheme included “bribing SAT and ACT exam administrators to allow a test taker … to secretly take college entrance exams in place of students or to correct the students’ answers after they had taken the exam.”

The scam has also swept up a number of collegiate coaches.

Former USC soccer coach Laura Janke pleaded guilty in May 2019 to a racketeering conspiracy charge related to the scandal, including $130,000 in illegal payouts. Like Loughlin and Giannulli, she had previously said she did not take part in the scheme.

As NPR reported, Janke helped create a number of bogus sports profiles, including ones for Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose.

Another well-known actress, Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives fame, was also convicted in the scheme. She was handed a 14-day prison sentence in September for paying thousands of dollars in exchange for having one of her children’s SAT scores boosted. By BRAKKTON BOOKER