Lori Loughlin Posts $1 Million Bail After College Entrance Scam Exposed

By The Associated Press

Actress Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in Los Angeles on March 13 accused of taking part in a sprawling scheme exposed this week in which wealthy parents paid for their children to cheat their way into elite colleges.

Magistrate Judge Steve Kim ordered Loughlin released from federal custody on $1 million bond following a brief hearing.

Loughlin stood with her lawyer in the Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday, March 13, and didn’t speak except to answer “yes” to the judge’s questions.

Kim said Loughlin must limit her travel to the continental U.S. and areas around Vancouver, Canada, for work.

Lori Loughlin
Actress Lori Loughlin (L) appears in this court sketch at a hearing for a racketeering case involving the allegedly fraudulent admission of children to elite universities, at the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., on March 13, 2019. (Mona Shafer Edwards/Reuters)

Loughlin was taken into custody a day after getting indicted in a nationwide college bribery scheme.

The FBI told the Associated Press that Loughlin surrendered to agents in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that she made prior arrangements for her surrender.

FBI agents went to her house on Tuesday to serve a warrant but she wasn’t there. On the same day, actress Felicity Hoffman was also arrested by agents.

Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was arrested on Tuesday and released on $1 million bond.

Actress Lori Laughlin and husband/designer Mossimo Giannulli in Las Vegas on April 26, 2002. (Scott Harrison/Getty Images)

Douglas Hodge, the former chief executive of the investment firm Pimco and another of the 33 parents charged in the $25 million scam, also appeared in a Boston court on Wednesday. A magistrate judge released him on $500,000 secured bond and overruled a federal prosecutor’s objection to Hodge keeping his passport.

Loughlin, Giannulli, and Hodge are among 50 people charged with taking part in the largest such scandal in U.S. history, which prosecutors said steered graduating high school students into elite universities, including Yale, Georgetown, and Stanford by cheating the admissions process.

Court document allege the couple paid $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither is a rower.

Actress Lori Loughlin poses with her daugthers
Actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, left, and Isabella Rose Giannulli at the 2019 “An Unforgettable Evening” in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2019. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Their 19-year-old daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, is a celebrity in her own right. She has a YouTube channel with nearly two million followers, and more than a million followers on Instagram. She often touts brands in paid ads on her accounts, and since last fall has incorporated her student life at USC.

In one YouTube post, she talked about the difficulty of juggling her career with school, and said she didn’t know how much she would actually attend. She also added that she was going to school for the partying, not academics: “I don’t really care about school, as all you guys know.” She later apologized.

youtuber olivia jade giannulli
(L-R) Olivia Jade Giannulli, Lori Loughlin and Isabella Rose Giannulli attend a gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Feb, 28, 2019; right, a close-up of Olivia Jade Giannulli at the same gala. (Photos by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

In an interview with the website TheBlast.com, she said she decided to go to college despite her fame because of her parents.

“Mostly my parents really wanted me to go, because both of them didn’t go to college,” she said. “They didn’t make me. My sister goes to the same school, and we’re pretty much inseparable, so it was nice following in her footsteps a little bit.”

Loughlin went straight into acting after high school, appearing on the soap opera “The Edge of Night.” She became a star on “Full House,” a standout hit of ABC’s family-friendly TGIF lineup in the early 1990s, and appeared on the recent Netflix reboot “Fuller House.”

She stars in the Hallmark series “When Calls My Heart” and is scheduled to appear in several new “Garage Sale Mysteries” movies and is a regular part of the channel’s holiday movie slate.

Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, declined comment Tuesday.

Reuters and NTD Reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.