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Federal Prosecutors Accuse Lori Loughlin of Withholding Evidence


Uh-oh. Aunt Becky is accused of breaking the rules. Again. This time, the accusation comes courtesy of federal prosecutors, who say that only two defendants fighting charges in the college admissions scandal–William McGlashan and Robert Zangrillo–have turned over discovery materials as required by court rules.

Prosecutors, in a status-filing with the Massachusetts District Court, painted a picture of non-compliance for the court. While the government has honored its discovery obligations, “Defendants have not yet produced any discovery to the Government despite Government requests.” Those defendants, according to prosecutors, are withholding important documents because they argue (incorrectly, per prosecutors), that,”it is premature to do so at this time.”

The filing, obtained by Law&Crime, goes on to state that Lori Loughlin, her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, and other defendants, “have now had approximately eight months to review the Government’s discovery, confer with their clients, and strategize regarding potential defenses,” but have consistently failed to make good on their own discovery obligations.

Friday’s filing isn’t the first time we’ve seen prosecutors and disgraced parents slug it out over discovery demands. In December, attorneys for Loughlin and Giannulli demanded oral argument on the claim that the government could be holding back exculpatory evidence in the case.

“… the Government appears to be concealing exculpatory evidence that helps show that both Defendants believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself—for legitimate, university-approved purposes—or to other legitimate charitable causes. The Government’s failure to disclose this information is unacceptable, and this Court should put a stop to it,” the defendants argued in a court filing.

Loughlin and Giannulli face charges of with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery. They are facing federal criminal charges as part of a group of wealthy parents who allegedly bribed their kids’ way into prestigious colleges with the help of admitted ringleader and government informer William “Rick” Singer.

While some parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, have pleaded guilty, Loughlin and Giannulli continue to press on toward trial.

Prosecutors requested a final status conference during the week of June 15, 2020, and estimated that the government’s case will take three to six weeks of court time once the trial begins.

[image via Paul Marotta/Getty Images]

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Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos