A federal judge in Boston on Tuesday reduced bail for Hollywood star Lori Loughlin and her husband and released the lien on the couple’s $18 million Los Angeles home ahead of their sentencing next month for paying bribes to get their daughters into USC as phony crew recruits, records show.
Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton entered an order in US District Court in Boston approving a motion filed Monday by attorneys for Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.
The couple’s attorneys had asked Gorton to issue an order “releasing their $1,000,000 bonds secured by their property, reducing their bail from $1,000,000 to $100,000, and removing the requirement that the $100,000 bonds be secured by money or property,” legal filings show.
The couple’s defense team had said in court papers that prosecutors did not oppose the request. Court records indicate Loughlin and Giannulli’s home on Udine Way in Los Angeles is valued at $18 million.
“There is no indication that Defendants will flee rather than face sentencing,” their lawyers wrote in Monday’s motion. “A requirement that their bond be secured with a lien on their home is not the ‘least restrictive’ condition necessary, as an unsecured bond, coupled with sufficient assets to collect upon, provides the same incentive for Defendants to appear in this case, which they will of course continue to do.”
Loughlin and Giannulli were among the dozens of people arrested in March 2019 as part of the nationwide “Varsity Blues” college admissions scam. Prosecutors say wealthy parents paid bribes to admitted ringleader William “Rick” Singer to get their children falsely designated as athletic recruits at selective schools, effectively paving their way to admission, or to facilitate cheating on the kids’ SAT and ACT exams.
Authorities said Loughlin and Giannulli paid bribes totaling totaling $500,000 to get their daughters into USC as crew recruits, even though neither child rowed competitively. The actress, whose role as Aunt Becky on “Full House” endeared her to millions, and Giannulli both pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy-related charges tied to the bribes.
They’re slated for sentencing Aug. 21. While they each face up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors under the terms of a plea deal are seeking a two-month sentence for Loughlin and a five-month prison term for Giannulli.
Separately, Lelling’s office said Diane Blake, 55, and Todd Blake, 54, both of Ross, California, both pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud, for agreeing to pay $250,000 to secure their daughter’s admission to USC as a purported athletic recruit.
Todd Blake also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, Lelling’s office said.
The parties have agreed to sentences, subject to the court’s approval, of six weeks in prison for Diane Blake and four months behind bars for her husband, Lelling’s office said. Diane and Todd Blake will also each pay a $125,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service if the deal’s approved.
“Diane and Todd Blake are the 27th and 28th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case,” Lelling’s office said.