A federal judge involved in the ongoing college admissions scandal case has responded to Lori Loughlin’s claim that the FBI told Rick Singer, the man at the center of the scandal, to lie about her and her husband Mossimo Giannulli’s knowledge of bribes being paid.
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In March, the actress’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss her criminal case. Loughlin and Mossimo are both accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters, 20-year-old Olivia Jade and 21-year-old Isabella, admitted to USC as recruits for the crew team (even though they have never participated in the sport) as part of an alleged college admissions scam. Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to the charges in the college admissions scandal.
In the motion, the defendants alleged that “the Government belatedly disclosed” notes from Singer, allegedly showed “government agents in an effort to ‘entrap’ defendants and ‘nail’ them ‘at all costs.'”
Then on Friday, April 17, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton responded to Loughlin’s attorney’s motion, calling the allegations “serious and disturbing.”
“In those notes Singer describes a troubling conversation,” Gorton wrote in the memo, according to PEOPLE.
Singer, who cooperated with the FBI, claimed the agents “aggressively pressured him and directly instructed him to lie to elicit incriminating information from potential defendants.”
“The court considers the allegations in Singer’s October notes to be serious and disturbing,” the judge wrote. “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.”
Judge Gorton, who has yet to rule on whether to dismiss the case or not, has asked that prosecutors respond to the allegations before May 1.
Earlier in April, in response to the motion to dismiss the couple’s case, federal prosecutors released the rowing photos, claiming Loughlin and her husband supplied to get their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose into the University of Southern California.
According to the prosecutors, Giannulli sent the photo after Singer told him: “It would probably help to get a picture with her on an ERG in workout clothes like a real athlete too.”
Lori Loughlin was “outraged and extremely angry” by the release of the rowing workout photos, according to a source.
“The pictures are obviously extremely inflammatory and controversial, meant to intimidate Lori because she has refused to take a plea deal,” a source told Us Weekly. “The photos were never submitted to USC as part of the application process. Lori’s lawyers will be responding to the photos of the girls on the rowing machine in a legal filing.”
Olivia Jade was “hysterical” when she discovered the photos were released. “She has slowly begun to try and rebuild her brand,” the insider told the outlet. “The expectation was the photos would be presented as evidence at the trial. And in that context, Olivia Jade would have a coordinated, appropriate response.”