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Lori Loughlin could face legal action from USC over college admissions scandal

The University of Southern California hinted at a possible future legal dispute with Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli.

Isabella Giannulli, from left, Lori Loughlin, and Olivia Jade Giannulli arrive at the Teen Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Los Angeles.
Bella Loughlin, from left. Lori Loughlin, and Olivia Loughlin arrive at the Teen Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Los Angeles.
Jordan Strauss, Invision/Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli may face legal conflict with the University of Southern California over the college admissions scandal, according to the Los Angeles Times.

USC hinted at a possible future legal dispute with Loughlin and Giannulli for their alleged roles in the college admissions scandal in a letter last month from one of their lawyers.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters, Olivia Jade and Bella Giannulli, could be team crew recruits for USC.

Loughlin and Giannulli are represented by Latham & Watkins, a law firm that is currently involved in a separate case surrounding USC’s football stadium. Prosecutors argue this could mean there’s a conflict of interest.

  • “It is possible that USC may have civil disputes with one or both sometime in the future,” BJ Trach, the couple’s attorney, wrote in a letter to federal prosecutors back in May, according to The Washington Examiner. The letter was revealed on Thursday when a motion was filed by prosecutors, which noted the potential upcoming conflict.

USC is allegedly worried that the ongoing arrangement “may cause public embarrassment” and “adverse publicity,” according to The Washington Examiner.

Attorney William Trach wrote that USC has suggested that the representation from Latham & Watkins for both USC and Loughlin "poses foreseeable conflicts because it is possible that USC may have civil disputes with one or both sometime in the future,” as USA Today reports.

According to USA Today, the motion said that there will be multiple witnesses from USC who would be expected to testify if the college admissions case goes to trial.

  • "Defense counsel will, presumably, seek to cross-examine these witnesses, who are clients of their own firms," the prosecution's motion reads. "And, if the defendants are convicted, U.S.C. will be entitled as a matter of law to restitution and to provide a victim-impact statement, either of which defense counsel will also have an obligation on behalf of their individual clients to scrutinize and potentially challenge."

The law firms argue that there is no conflict of interest, saying USC is being represented without any connection to the cheating and bribery scheme, USA Today reports.

  • "Our law firm is confident that it has no or reasonably foreseeable conflict of interest in this case," Trach wrote.

Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded not guilty in the college admissions scandal case, according to my report for the Deseret News. They face a potential sentence of 40 years.