Feds Slam Loughlin, Giannulli Defense in Admissions Case

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Federal prosecutors denied accusations that they are withholding evidence that would support Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband's claims of innocence in the college admissions scandal, and called one of the defense's arguments "farcical."

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have been sparring over what evidence the government must hand over to lawyers for the wealthy couple, who are accused of paying $500,000 to have their daughters designated as crew recruits to the University of Southern California, even though neither is a rower.

Lawyers for Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have asked a judge to force prosecutors to turn over certain FBI records and other evidence that they say would support their defense that the couple believed their payments were legitimate donations. They say prosecutors have hid evidence from the defense and then "launched a months-long campaign to pressure defendants into pleading guilty."

Prosecutors said in documents filed Friday that they have already handed over everything they were required to and aren't keeping back anything that would support the couple's claims of innocence.

"While the defendants may, understandably, be upset about the lack of exculpatory evidence, the absence of such evidence is a result of their criminal conduct, not any government disclosure violations," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen wrote.

Prosecutors included in the court documents released Friday a copy of the resume presented to USC for the couple's youngest daughter, Olivia Jade, that claims she raced in Boston's Head of the Charles Regatta, among other prestigious competitions.

An email seeking comment was sent to a lawyer for Loughlin and Giannulli on Monday.

Among other things, Loughlin and Giannulli's lawyers want details about what the mastermind of the bribery scheme, Rick Singer, told other parents about how their payments would be used. Singer has pleaded guilty in the case and is cooperating with the government.

Rosen wrote that it was outrageous to suggest that such information would help the couple's defense.

The defense's argument that if Singer told some of his clients that their donations were legitimate, it would corroborate the defense's argument that Loughlin and Giannulli believed their donations were legal is "farcical," Rosen wrote.

Prosecutors are seeking an October trial date for Loughlin, Giannulli and several of other prominent parents charged in the case.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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