Lori Loughlin of “Full House” fame, her husband Mossimo Giannulli, and other parents involved in the college admissions bribery case are urging a judge to drop charges against them because of what they describe as “extraordinary” misconduct by prosecutors.
Defense attorneys for Loughlin, Giannulli, and the other parents sent a letter to the judge on Wednesday asking for charges to be dismissed, saying the case can’t go forward because investigators allegedly bullied their informant into giving false information and concealing evidence that would have helped the parents’ cases.
“The extraordinary government misconduct presented in this case threatens grave harm to defendants and the integrity of this proceeding. That misconduct cannot be ignored,” the attorneys wrote, according to Fox News.
Loughlin and Giannulli are scheduled to go to trial in October for numerous charges related to them allegedly paying $500,000 in bribe money to have their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as members of the crew team, even though neither girl had ever rowed before.
If convicted on all charges, the couple is facing forty years in prison, but their attorneys claim that prosecutors withheld evidence proving that they thought the money was legitimate donations for the school rather than bribes for officials.
The evidence that defense attorneys say were withheld were notes from admissions consultant Rick Singer, who was the mastermind behind the scheme.
In the notes, which were not given to the defense until a month ago, Singer claimed that FBI agents had told him to say that he had told the parents involved that the money they were paying was bribes.
“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,” Singer wrote.
In their letter to the judge, the defense lawyers claim that the notes prove that Singer was bullied by investigators into lying.
“For government agents to coerce an informant into lying on recorded calls to generate false inculpatory evidence against investigative targets—and to then knowingly prosecute those targets using that false evidence—is governmental malfeasance of the worst kind,” they wrote.
The parents’ lawyers went on to accuse the authorities of letting Singer delete thousands of text messages from his phone before launching an “aggressive (and highly successful) pressure campaign” to get parents to plead guilty.
“While withholding the notes and many other examples of material exculpatory information, the government attempted to coerce defendants into pleading guilty by threatening that if they did not, they would face additional charges,” they stated.
If the judge does not decide to dismiss the case, the defense said that he should at the very least ban prosecutors from using “tainted recordings” at trial and order a hearing to “uncover the full truth about the recordings and the government’s efforts to fabricate and conceal evidence.”
The U.S. attorney’s office in Boston would not comment when asked about the defense’s letter.
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
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