BOSTON (AP) — Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman faced court appearances Wednesday on charges they took part in the college bribery scandal that has ensnared dozens of wealthy parents.
The actresses along with Loughlin’s fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and dozens of others were charged last month in a scheme in which authorities say parents paid an admissions consultant to bribe college coaches and rig test scores to get their children into elite universities.
Huffman, Loughlin and Giannulli, whose Mossimo clothing had long been a Target brand, have not publicly commented on the allegations. They were set to make their first appearances in Boston’s federal court along with other parents charged in the scheme.
Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House” in the 1980s and ’90s, and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither participated in the sport.
The Hallmark Channel — where Loughlin starred in popular holiday movies and the series “When Calls the Heart” — cut ties with Loughlin a day after her arrest.
Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughter, social media star Olivia Jade Giannulli, was dropped from advertising deals with cosmetics retailer Sephora and hair products company TRESemme.
Huffman, the Emmy-winning star of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” is accused of paying $15,000 that she disguised as a charitable donation to cheat on her daughter’s college entrance exam.
Among the other parents expected in the Boston court Wednesday was Gordon Caplan, former co-chairman of the international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, based in New York.
Caplan is accused of paying $75,000 to get a test supervisor to correct the answers on his daughter’s ACT exam after she took it. Caplan’s firm said after his arrest that he has been placed on a leave of absence.
The consultant at the center of the scheme, Rick Singer, pleaded guilty and is cooperating with investigators. Former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith also pleaded guilty.
Several coaches pleaded not guilty , including tennis coach Gordon Ernst who’s accused of getting $2.7 million in bribes to designate at least 12 applicants as recruits to Georgetown.