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Every Christmas Has a Story: Lori Loughlin Gets Out of Prison


Just days after Christmas, Full House actress and convicted felon Lori Loughlin has been released from prison. It happens two months after she reported to federal prison to do time in Dublin, California for her role in the college admissions scandal known as “Operation Varsity Blues.”

Loughlin’s husband Mossimo Giannulli, who still has three months left to serve, remains incarcerated.

The terms of the plea deal said Loughlin would serve two months behind bars and pay a $150,000 fine. She also agreed to two years of supervised release and to serve 100 hours of community service. She will have to complete this part of her sentence next.

Giannulli’s deal got him five months in prison, a $250,000 fine, and two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.

The convicted felons’ daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Giannulli were each photographed on rowing machines, and those photos were submitted as part of fraudulent college applications to the University of Southern California. The celebrity parents were accused of “agree[ing] to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the [University of Southern California (USC)] crew team–despite the fact that they did not participate in crew.”

The prosecution’s sentencing recommendation, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, said Giannulli was “the more active participant in the scheme” to get their two daughters accepted into the University of Southern California, but maintained that Loughlin was “nonetheless fully complicit.”

“As between the defendants, the evidence suggests that Giannulli was the more active participant in the scheme. He engaged more frequently with Singer, directed the bribe payments to USC and Singer, and personally confronted his daughter’s high school counselor to prevent the scheme from being discovered, brazenly lying about his daughter’s athletic abilities,” the memo said.

The federal government’s key witness William “Rick” Singer admitted to being the mastermind in the college admissions scandal. He flipped, turning on parents who paid him to help buy their children’s way into higher education.

“In an e-mail on or about July 24, 2016, Singer advised Giannulli that his older daughter’s academic qualifications were at or just below the ‘low end’ of USC’s admission standards,” the complaint said. “Thereafter, the Giannullis agreed with [Singer] to use bribes to facilitate her admission to USC as a recruited crew coxswain, even though she did not row competitively or otherwise participate in crew.”

Evidence showed that Mossimo Giannulli freaked out when a high school counselor unwittingly unraveled the scheme.

“We messed up,” Olivia Jade recently admitted. “I just want a second chance to be like, ‘I recognize I messed up.’ And for so long, I wasn’t able to talk about this because of the legalities behind it. I never got to say, ‘I’m really sorry that this happened.'”

[Image via JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.