"Full House" Actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and other prominent parents are urging a judge to dismiss charges against them in the college admissions bribery case. They also contend that prosecutors then withheld the evidence of the misconduct for almost nine months. "As detailed in the notes, agents directed Singer not to mention on the calls that he had previously told the clients their payments would be 'donation [s]' that would go 'to the [university] program [and] not the coach, '.in other words, that their payments were not unlawful bribes". The mastermind of the college admissions scandal, Rick Singer, was reportedly asked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to lie about whether the parents involved in the scam knew they were paying bribes.
"The notes state that agents browbeat Singer and instructed him to lie in order to elicit misleading evidence that was inconsistent with the actual facts that Singer had explained to agents", the lawyers wrote.
Attorneys for Loughlin and Giannulli raised claims of misconduct before Gorton in court last month.
The defense contends that the parents were under the impression that the payments were donations to the school.
The documents claim that, during that recorded call, Loughlin made it clear that she wasn't aware of the possibly illicit nature of the payments.
"Yeah, no, no, I - I had questions about [U] SC. I was like, 'Well, maybe the way they got in you're not supposed to get in like that, I don't know, like can you, ' But Moss was like, 'No, you can make a donation, it's OK", Loughlin allegedly told Singer before asking, "But it's all on the up and-up, right?" "Uh, yeah I don't know".
"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", the parents' lawyers wrote.
"It brings no joy to file a motion of this nature", they wrote.
"The extraordinary government misconduct presented in this case threatens grave harm to defendants and the integrity of this proceeding", said Latham & Watkins attorneys in a federal court filing on Wednesday, which was obtained by Deadline.
Loughlin's lawyers and those representing the other parents accused of trying to land their children top university spots by allegedly bribing education administrators claim the prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office are guilty of misconduct.
The defense said if the judge doesn't dismiss the case, he should at least prevent prosecutors from using the "tainted recordings" at trial and order a hearing to "uncover the full truth about the recordings and the government's efforts to fabricate and hide evidence".