New York Daily News: Aunt Becky is going to prison.
A federal judge made it official Friday, sentencing “Full House” star Lori Loughlin to two months in the big house in accordance with her plea deal with prosecutors.
US District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton approved the pact after sentencing Loughlin’s husband Mossimo Giannulli to five months in prison at a separate video hearing earlier Friday.
The spouses were convicted of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as fake crew team recruits.
“I made an awful decision,” Loughlin told the judge. “I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process. In doing so, I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass.”
The actress said she regretted the way her actions “undermined” her daughters accomplishments and “exacerbated” inequalities in society.
“While I wish I could go back and do things differently, I can only take responsibility and move forward,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion.
“I will do everything in my power to redeem myself,” she said. “Your honor, I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry. I am ready to face the consequences and make amends.”
In addition to her prison time, Loughlin, 56, also must pay a $150,000 fine, complete 100 hours of community service and serve two years of supervised release, Gorton said.
Loughlin’s fashion designer husband, 57, was given his prison time along with a $250,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and two years of supervised release.
“I do deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others. I take full responsibility for my conduct,” Giannulli told the court during his video appearance.
“You certainly did know better, yet you helped sponsor a breathtaking fraud on our system of education and involved your wife and your two daughters,” Gorton scolded Giannulli.
The judge said both Loughlin and Giannulli must self-surrender and start serving their prison terms by Nov. 19. Loughlin asked to be incarcerated at the Victorville Federal Prison Camp near Los Angeles, but her ultimate assignment will be up to the Bureau of Prisons.
The back-to-back video hearings capped a contentious 17 months of legal woes for the celebrity couple.
If Judge Gorton had rejected their deals as too lenient, the spouses had reserved the right to withdraw their guilty pleas and proceed to trial.
The high-profile pair initially seemed to take the lead fighting the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston in the sprawling case. The ultimately caved in May when prosecutors offered recommended sentences radically shorter than what they might have faced if convicted by jurors.
Loughlin agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Giannulli agreed to a slightly stronger count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
For its part, the government agreed to drop the money laundering and bribery charges that were piled on the couple with superseding indictments.
Prosecutors said the couple worked with scam mastermind William “Rick” Singer and his fake charity to sneak the girls through a “side door” at the exclusive school using tactics including staged photos of the teens on rowing machines.
The sham rowing résumé used to get Loughlin’s youngest daughter Olivia Jade into USC surfaced in a February filing, exposing how she was falsely portrayed as a “highly talented” coxswain who excelled at “direction and steering.”
The bogus bio claimed the teen won a bevy of bronze, silver and gold medals in crew competitions around California between 2014 and 2017, even though she never rowed on a team at all.
In paperwork filed Monday, prosecutors recounted a January 2018 exchange between Loughlin, Giannulli and Olivia Jade in which they discussed the possibility a counselor at the younger daughter’s high school might disrupt their scheme.
Olivia Jade asked if she should list USC as her top choice, and Loughlin responded, “Yes….But it might be a flag for the weasel to meddle,” prosecutors said.
“Don’t say too much to that man,” Loughlin then instructed her daughter, prosecutors said.
Giannulli and Loughlin were the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the nationwide college admissions case dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.”
Former “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, the other A-list actress arrested in the sting, was one of the first to admit guilt.
She tearfully confessed in May 2019 to paying $15,000 to rig her older daughter’s college entrance exam.