A judge involved with the Lori Loughlin case just called allegations about federal investigators pressuring a witness to entrap parents “serious and disturbing.”

Here’s the context:

  • Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, would be crew recruits for the University of Southern California. The couple pleaded not guilty on all charges, which has included fraud, bribery and money laundering conspiracy.
  • Attorneys for Loughlin, Giannulli and other wealthy parents accused in the scandal asked the judge to dismiss the case. Court documents showed the scandal’s mastermind, William “Rick” Singer, had taken notes that said federal prosecutors asked him to lie in order to entrap parents, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
  • According to NBC News, Singer’s notes say federal investigators “fabricated evidence to create the false impression that defendants knowingly paid bribes to corrupt insiders, rather than made legitimate donations to help their children’s chances of admission.”
  • The defendants’ team said it believes that the government’s case doesn’t stand there isn’t any evidence of intent to commit fraud, NBC News reports.

What’s the news:

  • According to USA Today, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton, who is overseeing the college admissions scandal, called the allegations made in Singer’s notes “serious and disturbing.”
  • Gorton wrote: “The court considers the allegations in Singer’s October notes to be serious and disturbing. While government agents are permitted to coach cooperating witnesses during the course of an investigation, they are not permitted to suborn the commission of a crime.”
  • Gorton asked the federal prosecutors to respond to the notes.