Sunday, June 16, 2024

College Entrance Scandal Indictment Includes Detailed Phone Conversations and Emails with Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman


The US Attorney’s indictment against 33 parents in the college entrance scandal is really eye opening. Most of the defendants are very wealthy. CEOs of big companies, people you would think are too smart to break the law. And also, how stupid could their kids be that they needed this help? Bribes?

The indictment is very specific for every defendant, even actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Included in the charge are transcripts of phone conversations the actresses had with the people who were setting up the bribes to get their respective daughters into college.

In Loughlin’s case, she and husband Massimo Gianulli worked as a team. An email from Giannulli is included: “We just met with [our older daughter’s] college counselor this am. I’d like to maybe sit with you after your session with the girls as I have some concerns and want to fully understand the game plan and make sure we have a roadmap for success as it relates to [our daughter] and getting her into a school other than ASU!”

The Giannullis were worried their daughter would be at a bad school despite not having grades for anything better. From the complaint: “In an e-mail on or about July 24, 2016, CW-1 advised GIANNULLI that his older daughter’s academic qualifications were at or just below the “low end” of USC’s admission standards. Thereafter, the GIANNULLIS agreed with CW-1 to use bribes to facilitate her admission to USC as a recruited crew coxswain, even though she did not row competitively or otherwise participate in crew.”

Huffman was equally persistent. The sad part of this that Loughlin and Huffman are just better known than the other defendants. What they did was no worse than the others. In fact, the others would be of more interest if they were famous.

From the complaint:

In a telephone call with CW-1 on or about October 23, 2018, HUFFMAN discussed repeating the SAT cheating scheme for her younger daughter. The call, which was consensually recorded, is excerpted below.
CW-1 Okay. Great. So I also just wanted to let you know that the– the guy who took the test for [your older daughter], [CW-2]–
CW-1 –he just had a baby.
CW-1 So if– so I need to give him at least three weeks’ notice, if you want to take the tes– want us to take the test for [your younger daughter] in December.
HUFFMAN Okay. So that takes us to like November-something. Okay. I won’t– I won’t know until she takes that– the practice test, of when we should take it. I mean, unless you want to play it safe and do it in March.
CW-1 The next test date would be February. So let’s try to plan for December.
165. In a call with CW-1 on or about November 12, 2018, HUFFMAN confirmed that she wanted to proceed with the cheating scheme, but probably only after her daughter first took the exam on her own, without cheating. CW-1 has advised law enforcement agents that, in such instances—when parents had their children first take the exams by themselves, to see how they scored without cheating—CW-1 would typically direct CW-2 to ensure that their second score did not increase by more than 30 percent from the first “baseline” score, in order to avoid any suspicion of cheating. Excerpts from the call, which was consensually recorded, are set forth below.
CW-1 Okay, great. Okay. So then, the question I have for you, because [what] I’m not sure is, I know she’s– she’s preparing with [a tutor]. Is she–
CW-1 –going to make that with her extended time at her school or are we going to do like what we–with [your older daughter], where [CW-2] —
HUFFMAN We’re going to do like we did with [my older daughter].
CW-1 Okay. So [CW-2] will take it with her and for her at Igor’s place at [the West Hollywood Test Center]. So–
CW-1 Because I’ll need to do the paperwork for that. And you’re okay with that?
HUFFMAN Yeah, totally.
CW-1 Okay, okay. All right. So then when we get closer to that point, or over– maybe I’ll have it done over the next week or so–
CW-1 –[inaudible] the paperwork set up to move that forward.
HUFFMAN Okay. Now, my only thing, [CW-1], is– sorry it’s loud in here. I’m outside. But is that I’m pretty sure– we are doing it the same way as [with my older daughter]? I’m pretty sure with [my younger daughter] that she’s going to want to take it twice no matter what.
CW-1 Okay.
HUFFMAN So do we do it twice then?
CW-1 The– well, that’s– that’s a good — well, how about– let’s do this. Why don’t we– why don’t we work to get a first score, and then we already have a baseline? Because what happens is, if she takes it and doesn’t do well the first time —
CW-1 –then we can only go up a certain amount the second time.
HUFFMAN Yeah. No, I totally figured that. I just know that no matter what, she’s so academically driven–
CW-1 Okay.
HUFFMAN –that no matter what happens, even if we go, “This is a great score,” that she’ll go, “I really want to take it again.”
CW-1 Okay.
HUFFMAN I just wanted to give you a heads-up, so I just thought then she’ll just take it twice in that– in the– you know, in [the West Hollywood Test Center] or whatever that place was.
CW-1 Okay, go– gotcha. Okay. All right. So–
HUFFMAN All right.
CW-1 So I’m going to– I’ll talk to Igor and [CW-2], confirm that we can get a March– the March test date on that Saturday.
CW-1 I just need you– yeah. I just need to get Igor confirmed that–
CW-1 –that we can use his site.
CW-1 And I need to get [CW-2] confirmed that he can fly in and take the test with and for [your younger daughter] so that I can make sure that they’re available.
HUFFMAN Okay, that sounds great.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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