“I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process,” Loughlin said during her virtual sentencing hearing. “In doing so I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass. I thought I was acting out of love for my children. But in reality, it only undermined and diminished my daughters’ abilities and accomplishments.”
She said she now understood that her decision helped exacerbate existing inequalities in society.
“While I wish I could go back and do things differently, I can only take responsibility and move forward,” she said as her voice cracked and she began to cry.
“I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry,” she said, using both hands to wipe tears from her face. “I’m ready to face the consequences and make amends.”
An insurance executive who introduced Loughlin to Singer has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges for paying a man to help his daughter cheat on the ACT, as part of the case, federal prosecutors said.
Mark Hauser, 59, of Los Angeles, will enter a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of honest services mail fraud, a news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said Friday. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of six months in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $40,000
Hauser is the 56th parent to be charged in the case. A plea hearing will be scheduled at a later date.
Rob Fisher, an attorney for Hauser, said his client had no role with the Giannulli investigation and is not a cooperator for the government.
Loughlin gained fame on ‘Full House’
“I deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others,” Giannulli said during his virtual sentencing hearing. “I take full responsibility for my conduct. I’m ready to accept the consequences and move forward with the lessons I’ve learned from this experience.”
During the hearings Friday, US District Judge Nathaniel Gorton addressed both defendants, telling Loughlin that he believed her statement was sincere, but pointed to what he described as her “fairy-tale life.”
“Yet you stand before me a convicted felon, and for what? For the inexplicable desire to grab more,” Gorton said. “To have whatever prestige and instant gratification that comes from being able to show off the admission of your daughters to a preferred university.”
Earlier in the day, Gorton told Giannulli that he “certainly did know better.”
“You were not stealing bread to feed your family,” Gorton said. “You have no excuse for your crime. And that makes it all the more blameworthy.”
Loughlin had less active role in scheme, US Attorney says
Because of the type of plea agreement that Loughlin, Giannulli and prosecutors entered into, the judge had little wiggle room to veer off the agreed-upon deal.
Couple could have faced up to 20 years in prison
Gorton denied a motion to dismiss the charges and said the evidence could be debated at trial. Gorton also wrote in his decision that the defense had enough time and that the failure to turn over the notes was “irresponsible” and “misguided” not “willful,” because of prosecutors “imprudent underestimation of the context, relevance and potential exculpatory nature of the notes.”
Still, the exculpatory evidence opened the door for a good deal for Loughlin and Giannulli, Honig said.
“There’s always a risk of going to trial. If she had gone to trial and been convicted, she would have gotten slammed sentencing wise,” the legal analyst said. “It’s a deal that I think makes sense both ways but reflects the fact that the prosecutor’s case really took an unexpected turn.”
Loughlin and Giannulli entered into what is known in the federal system as a “C Plea.” The plea takes away the judge’s power to deviate from the terms that have already been agreed upon. If Gorton, known for being tough with sentencing, accepts the plea in court, which he’s expected to do, then he also agrees to accept the “C Plea.”
“He’s one of the heavier sentencers,” Fisher said.
If Loughlin and Giannulli had gone to trial and been convicted, they could have faced up to 20 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, prosecutors said.
“With her guidelines, she could have been looking at significantly more time after trial,” Fisher said. “Two months is going to be a significant deviation from the original sentencing guidelines.”
CNN’s Sonia Moghe contributed to this report.