Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are expected in court on Wednesday to face charges that they participated in a wide-ranging college admissions cheating scam.
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.
Neither Huffman nor Loughlin or Giannulli has publicly commented on the allegations. They and about a dozen other parents are scheduled to make their first appearances in Boston’s federal court.
Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom Full House in the 1980s and the 1990s, and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 US to have their two daughters labelled as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither participated in the sport.
Giannulli, whose Mossimo clothing had long been a brand at U.S. retail giant Target, is also scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
Networks, brands cut ties
The Hallmark Channel — where Loughlin starred in popular holiday movies and the series When Calls the Heart, which has aired in Canada on CBC — cut ties with Loughlin a day after her arrest.
Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughter, social media star Olivia Jade Giannulli, has also been dropped from advertising deals with cosmetics retailer Sephora and hair products company TRESemmé.
Huffman, an Oscar nominee for Transamerica and an Emmy winner on 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 is 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 centre of the scheme, Rick Singer, has pleaded guilty and is co-operating with investigators. Former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith has also pleaded guilty.
Several coaches have 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.