College Admissions Horror: Lori Loughlin Apparently Had No Idea that Bribery is Against the Law; is That an Excuse?
The college admissions scandal that erupted a couple of months ago may be the most shocker as of yet because details would prove how parents are willing to do everything just for their kids to enter prestigious universities.
At the center of it all, perhaps, are the prominent personalities like “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and husband designer Mossimo Giannulli, whose two daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose attend the University of Southern California. The high-profile couple recently pleaded not guilty in charges thrown at them.
What’s their best excuse? Well, Lori and Mossimo claim they didn’t know that bribery was illegal, which is quite eyebrow-raising if you think about it. According to a source who defended the persons in question, the couple didn’t know legalities because they are not experts and certainly not lawyers, although the complaint made it sound like they are criminal masterminds.
Specifically, the parents had no idea that the $500,000 money they gave the scam leader Rick Singer will be used for their daughters’ entrance to the USC under false pretenses. As per People’s source, Lori and Mossimo thought that what they did was just the same to what rich people are doing to get their children into top universities. Furthermore, the couple allegedly didn’t know that the fraudster would claim the girls were recruits for the crew team.
The insider further elaborated that the couple thought giving donations to alumni associations and calling in connections for favors are not out of the norm. This is why the parents gave money to the consultant not knowing what he will do. When everything blew out, they were more surprised than everyone else, the source continued.
Knowledge and Intent
However, according to TMZ, Lori and Mossimo are aware that the ringleader asked for photos of the girls on a rowing machine but that they didn’t know that it was end game. Knowledge and intent are two things looked at to prove bribery, and understandably, the “we-have-no-idea” excuse is what the accused’s lawyers are reportedly going to focus on the case. As for the intent, it’s clear that the parents wanted their kids to study at the prestigious school.
While the sources claim Lori and Mossimo inadvertently did it, this reason would not stand a chance in court, criminal attorney Mari Henderson explained. As what is oftentimes taught in law school, ignorance of the law is not an excuse and in this case, it’s not a defense. Plus, if you read the complaint, the parents were well aware that they were tricking USC since there were recorded conversations and e-mails.
The affidavit, meanwhile, contained Mossimo’s letter to Rick expressing his intention to meet up with the scam mastermind to clarify some aspects of the game plan and to make sure they have a “roadmap to success” that will let her daughter enter a school other than ASU (Arizona State University).
Not Going to Hold in Court
Henderson suggested that Lori should just enter a plea deal, like what former “Desperate Housewives” alum Felicity Huffman did, along with other 14 accused. The expert believes that there are very strong pieces of evidence, including e-mails and phone calls, that could implicate her. After pleading not guilty, Lori yet again was slapped with another money laundering charge and her daughter Olivia Jade was sent a target letter by the Department of Justice.
Felicity already pleaded guilty from the start, which had spared her daughter from further embarrassment. There’s a chance that Olivia Jade may become a defendant, a risk that came to her mom’s playing of fire.
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