Actress Lori Loughlin in Custody in Connection with Federal Recruiting, Admissions Scandal

Emily Caron
Sports Illustrated
Actress Lori Loughlin in Custody in Connection with Federal Recruiting, Admissions Scandal
Actress Lori Loughlin in Custody in Connection with Federal Recruiting, Admissions Scandal

Former Full House actress Lori Loughlin– who played Aunt Becky on the popular family sitcom– was taken into custody Wednesday after she was implicated in the nationwide college admissions bribery and money laundering scheme aptly named "Operation Varsity Blues."

Loughlin was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, as was her husband, Mossimo Giannulli. An arrest warrant was issued for Loughlin on Tuesday, who was not in Los Angeles when Federal agents went to her home.

The 54-year-old actress was reportedly taken into custody on Wednesday in connection with the widespread scheme. Loughlin will appear in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 13 at 2 p.m. PT.

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Loughlin and Giannulli were charged after allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into USC as recruits for the rowing team. Neither daughter rowed competitively or otherwise particiapted in crew.

Four USC athletics staff members were charged including USC Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel, who was allegedly involved in facilitating the admittance of Loughlin's daughters. The University has fired Heinel as a result.

William Rick Singer, the man at the center of the scheme, admitted to such tactics in court on Tuesday, explaining to the federal judge, "I was bribing coaches for a spot. And that occurred very frequently, your honor."

Giannulli appeared in court on Tuesday and was released on $1 million bail until he stands trial later this month in Boston.

Loughlin and Giannulli were just two of 50 individuals arrested in connection to the scam. Two SAT/ACT exam administrators, one exam proctor, nine collegiate coaches, one college athletics administrator and 31 other parents were also charged.

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