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Lori Loughlin’s attorney says new evidence should exonerate her in college admissions scandal case. Here’s why

The recent news come after a back-and-forth exchange between Lori Loughlin’s defense team and federal prosecutors.

In this Aug. 27, 2019 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin departs federal court in Boston after a hearing in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.
In this Aug. 27, 2019, file photo, actress Lori Loughlin departs federal court in Boston after a hearing in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.
Steven Senne, Associated Press

New court documents revealed that Lori Loughlin’s defense attorney wants her exonerated from the college admissions scandal case because, he said, new evidence shows Loughlin may be innocent.

What’s going on?

  • Loughlin’s defense lawyer Sean Berkowitz said in new court documents that prosecutors receive notes from William “Rick” Singer — the mastermind of the college admissions scandal — that showed Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, should be free from the case.
  • Berkowitz wrote (via People): “Singer’s notes indicate that FBI agents yelled at him and instructed him to lie by saying that he told his clients who participated in the in the alleged ‘side door’ scheme that their payments were bribes, rather than legitimate donations that went to the schools.”
  • According to CNN, the defense attorney’s wrote: “The government is trying to benefit from withholding information in violation of its obligations and the defendants constitutional rights, but then force trial as quickly as it can. The government should not be rewarded, nor the defendants punished, for this kind of egregious lack of candor and violation of its obligations.”
  • One of the notes said Singer wrote the following to the FBI: “They continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where there money was going — to the program not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment.”
  • Berkowitz said (via The Daily Beast): “This belated discovery ... is devastating to the government’s case and demonstrates that the government has been improperly withholding core exculpatory information, employing a ‘win at all costs’ effort rather than following their obligation to do justice.”
  • He called for “exonerating for the defendants the government has charged with bribery.”
  • Loughlin is accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so that her daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, could be team crew recruits for the University of Southern California. Loughlin, and several other parents, pleaded not guilty.

What’s next?

  • Berkowitz called for the judge to postpone an upcoming court date for Loughlin and Giannulli.
  • According to The Daily Beast, Loughlin and Giannulli’s attorney asked for the federal prosecutors to release this information in December.