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Actress Lori Loughlin, husband face sentencing in U.S. college admissions scandal

BOSTON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband face sentencing on Friday after admitting they participated in a vast U.S. college admissions fraud scheme to secure spots for their daughters at the University of Southern California.

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, will appear virtually before a federal judge in Boston to be sentenced under plea deals that call for them to serve two months and five months in prison, respectively.

They are among 55 people charged in a scheme where wealthy parents conspired with a California college admissions consultant to use bribery and fraud to secure their children’s admissions to top schools.

Consultant William “Rick” Singer pleaded guilty last year to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to secure the admission of children to schools as fake athletic recruits.

The parents include actress Felicity Huffman, who received a 14-day prison sentence.

Loughlin, 56, and Giannulli, 57, pleaded guilty in March, after their lawyers repeatedly conveyed their claims of innocence. Unlike other parents in the case, the couple filed nothing ahead of their sentencing expressing regret.

Their plea deals also call for Loughlin and Giannulli to pay respective fines of $150,000 and $250,000 and serve 100 and 250 hours of community service.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton has yet to decide if he will accept their plea deals, which restrict his ability to impose different sentences.

Prosecutors allege Loughlin and Giannulli conspired with Singer to fabricate parts of their daughters’ applications for admission to USC so they could be admitted as fake rowing team recruits.

Prosecutors said Giannulli, the “more active” parent in the scheme, also paid $500,000 in purported “donations” as a quid pro quo to induce a USC employee to facilitate the recruitment of daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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