Patterico's Pontifications

5/21/2020

Gorgeous Actress and Husband Throw in the Towel

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:56 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Lori Loughlin, who first captured my aching teenage heart in the 1985 comedy Secret Admirer (with C. Thomas Howell and Kelly Preston, the future Mrs. John Travolta), has ended her battle against the Justice Department:

Lori Loughlin and [husband] Mossimo Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty in the college admissions scandal case and to each serve time behind bars after more than a year of maintaining their innocence.

The Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that the couple will plead guilty at a yet-to-be-determined court date. Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and to honest services wire and mail fraud.

If the judge accepts the terms of their plea agreement, both will do time in prison. Loughlin would serve two months and pay a $150,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. Giannulli, meanwhile, would serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service.

This is of course an outgrowth of the “Varsity Blues” scandal in which wealthy and connected parents undertook a variety of underhanded methods to land their children spots in selective universities. Both Patterico and Dana have covered the story since it first broke last spring. The Loughlin/Giannulli duo will be the twenty-third and twenty-fourth defendants to plead guilty in this matter. They had intended to argue that they were assured the money they had paid counted as legitimate donations to charitable causes. But two weeks ago the judge rejected a pre-trial motion seeking to suppress evidence based upon alleged government misconduct, and Ms. Loughlin and Mr. Giannulli thus faced an uphill battle to win acquittal in the jury trial that was scheduled to begin this coming fall.

I still think that the government wasted resources and time chasing these parents and threatening them with jail time, especially in light of the fact that we are currently emptying our cells due to social justice concerns, budgetary reasons, and the COVID-19 virus. The fact that the Loughlin/Giannulli duo will serve their sentences at worst in tennis prison or, more likely, in home confinement doesn’t change my mind. I’ve been consistent in my belief that private universities should only be accountable to their faculty, students, and alumnae/i with respect to the composition of each freshman class, and if they choose to fill it with legacy admits, athletes & artists, or the children of the well-connected then that is entirely their business. If a student lies and/or cheats to gain admission, that is between the student and the institution and not a matter of concern for the federal government. Turning this into a matter of wire and mail fraud strikes me as overreach, though I concede that I have lost the battle where this case is concerned.

But at least I’ve established that I will never turn my back on my teenage crushes. [Video mostly safe for work, in a PG-13 sort of way.]

– JVW

40 Responses to “Gorgeous Actress and Husband Throw in the Towel”

  1. What good is the concept of “judicial discretion” if it isn’t liberally applied to good-looking people?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. Changing the title of the post because apparently “heartthrob” is generally only used when applied to men. Learn something new every day.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  3. I agree with your penultimate paragraph. I don’t see the crime here, and even less a federal crime. I suppose the State of California could make it a crime to bribe a servant to betray his master’s interests, based on some old common law or Spanish law, but what business is it of the federal government’s?

    nk (1d9030)

  4. I don’t get the bile that has been thrown around about this case. The crime seem not much more serious than reckless driving to me.

    Fred (79d82a)

  5. I don’t get the bile that has been thrown around about this case.

    It’s that perfect confluence of Hollywood, elite academia, and beautiful & rich people gaming the system. It’s designed to aggravate just about everybody, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum. That’s another reason why I don’t want to pile on.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  6. I’m guessing home confinement. Felicity Huffman already served 11 days in jail. The point was made.

    Dana (0feb77)

  7. While I agree how a private institution handles is admissions is purely internal matter, I also see why paying someone not acting on behalf of the university is pretty clearly wire fraud. Mr. and Mrs. Loughlin bascially paid someone to steal something.

    tla (7ab14a)

  8. I am also troubled by the extent to which the FBI manufactured the “smoking gun” evidence against them. By coercing their facilitator to get them to incriminate themselves on tape. It kind of causes me internal conflicts with my position in Michael Flynn’s case. I hate internal conflicts.

    nk (1d9030)

  9. I also see why paying someone not acting on behalf of the university is pretty clearly wire fraud.

    The universities created the loopholes for varsity athletes, and these families and the consultant they hired merely took advantage of those loopholes. I am not aware that lying to the admissions office is a federal crime. Expel the students, sure, but how is this a criminal matter?

    And even if it is a criminal matter, look at it this way: Ms. Loughlin and Mr. Giannulli live in California. The University of Southern California is located in — you guessed it — California. Rick Singer, the guy who was fixing the admissions for these families, lives in Sacramento and Newport Beach, both cities located in California. His consulting firm was incorporated in the state of California. Given all of this, why the hell is a federal prosecutor in Massachusetts dealing with this issue?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  10. BTW, JVW, I’ve been asking Mr. Google and Mr. Thesaurus for the female vis a vis of heartthrob, and the closest I have come to is “enchantress” which seems a little too exalted for an actress to me, and “bombshell” which seems a little too lowbrow for an actress like Lori Loughlin. Have you had any better luck?

    nk (1d9030)

  11. If the defendants would just make full-throated public endorsements of President Trump, praising his handling of the pandemic and sprinkling in the word “hoax” here and there, I’m sure this could be worked out in a way that better serves the interests of justice.

    Dave (1bb933)

  12. Have you had any better luck?

    I think “pin-up” would be the historical counterpart of “heartthrob,” but what’s wrong with “sweetheart”, “honey” or “babe”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  13. “sweetheart”, “honey” or “babe”?

    Too prosaic. “Diva” strike a chord?

    nk (1d9030)

  14. nk: BTW, JVW, I’ve been asking Mr. Google and Mr. Thesaurus for the female vis a vis of heartthrob, and the closest I have come to is “enchantress” which seems a little too exalted for an actress to me, and “bombshell” which seems a little too lowbrow for an actress like Lori Loughlin.

    Dave: I think “pin-up” would be the historical counterpart of “heartthrob,” but what’s wrong with “sweetheart”, “honey” or “babe”?

    She’s a difficult case because she’s emphatically not a bombshell — at least not in the way that I think of the term. Kelly Preston in that movie is the bombshell; Lori Loughlin is the super-cute girl-next-door who one day you suddenly figure out has stolen your heart. In fact, the movie is kind of hackneyed because the plot is so obvious: Lori Loughlin is C. Thomas Howell’s “best friend” who secretly carries a torch for him, but she agrees to help him win the heart of the beautiful, sexy, and sophisticated Kelly Preston. He manages to accomplish the task, only to realize that she (Miss Preston) is kind of shallow and banal, and that it is Miss Loughlin who is really the right one for him.

    So that leads us back to the original problem. I agree with nk that “enchantress” is wrong as a noun for Miss Loughlin, but I think I might use a adverb-adjective combination such as “delightfully enchanting” to describe her. Dave’s suggestion of “sweetheart” is pretty good for a noun, but it doesn’t lend itself to an adjective. “Adorable” comes into play; but that word to me kind of signifies a very reduced sex appeal, which I cannot attribute to her.

    So I’m thinking that she could be referred to properly as a minx. I like this word a lot, but Merriam-Webster lists one definition as “wanton” which is a connotation I would like to avoid. Dictionary.com has a great definition: a flirtatious and bold young woman. This fits in nicely with her character in the movie. But I will be on the lookout for something better.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  15. As “innocent” orinthal james simpson said when leaving the court room “Aint america great you can get all the justice you can afford!”

    asset (c7b576)

  16. cupcake

    mg (8cbc69)

  17. “vixen”
    or
    “Mary-Anne” from Gilligan’s Island.

    felipe (023cc9)

  18. I know words.

    I have the best words.

    Dave (1bb933)

  19. Gorgeous, huh? At best, Loughlin is a 7. At best.

    Gryph (08c844)

  20. Loughlin always had that X-factor, something which by definition defies…definition. She was not a bombshell, just really cute. An actress who seemed cute yet approachable and someone any regular dude could date.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  21. 21. Well now all the prison brunos are going to be lusting after her. And here we are.

    Gryph (08c844)

  22. I never even knew about Lori Loughlin until I saw her in this schmaltzy Hallmark movie, Meet My Mom. Even at 45, she was gorgeous.
    The real criminal is the guy who set up the scheme. I would’ve been fine with handslaps for the chumps who paid him.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  23. Rick Singer. He made a dirty deal with a dirty Trump-appointee US Attorney to entrap high-publicity value victims for him, and he’ll be the one walking with a relative slap on the wrist.

    nk (1d9030)

  24. Love actually happened in the wee hours of May 22, 2020… as documented here…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. Gorgeous, huh? At best, Loughlin is a 7. At best.

    On a scale from 1 to 6.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  26. She was not a bombshell, just really cute. An actress who seemed cute yet approachable and someone any regular dude could date.

    See, Hoi Polloi gets it.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  27. Love is a beautiful thing… love can be found everywhere… even in a guitar blog…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  28. Love actually happened in the wee hours of May 22, 2020… as documented here…

    Oh no, love happened in a movie theater sometime in the summer of 1985 when a dorky 15-year-old boy looked up at the screen and gazed upon the sweet visage of a 20-year-old minx. The fire was lit, and the embers still remain smoldering 35 years later.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  29. So many things are felonies now. We probably need a new term for felony felonies.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. Much more worthy in The Night Before (1988)

    urbanleftbehind (35c5a3)

  31. 22, both the broomstick butches and the COs.

    urbanleftbehind (35c5a3)

  32. Totally off-topic, but I saw it reported that the D.C. Circuit ordered the district judge in the Flynn case to file a response to the mandamus petition. That seems pretty unusual to me. Anyone want to comment?

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  33. We are talking about it here, Bored Lawyer.

    DRJ (15874d)

  34. @5. ‘It’s that perfect confluence of Hollywood, elite academia, and beautiful & rich people gaming the system.’

    It’s a bit of a reach to slam ‘Hollywood’ given how few from Tinseltown actually paid for a role in Varsity Blues. Most are the super wealthy, live-off-the-interest-investor-Snowman-Kudlow-class…

    Reaganomics. 😉

    ‘A List of the Parents Named in the College Admissions Scandal Indictment:

    Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are making the headlines, but the federal indictment outlining a massive college admissions scheme that was unsealed Tuesday includes the names of dozens of other parents who find themselves in legal trouble for doing a little too much to help their kids get into college. Here’s who they are, according to the 204-page indictment unsealed Tuesday and media reports:

    Gregory Abbott and Marcia Abbott — The “founder and chairman of a packaging company for the food and beverage industry, and the former chairman and CEO of a private-label clothing manufacturer.”

    Gamal Abdelaziz — A former Las Vegas gaming executive who previously worked for Wynn Macau and MGM Resorts International.

    Diane Blake and Todd Blake — Diane is “an executive at a retail merchandising firm” and Todd is an “entrepreneur and investor.”

    Jane Buckingham — CEO of the boutique marketing company Trendera and author of The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life, an advice book “for the busy modern woman.”

    Gordon Caplan — The co-chair of mega law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher and the The American Lawyer’s 2018 Dealmaker of the Year.

    I-hsin “Joey” Chen — A California resident who operates a “provider of warehousing and related services for the shipping industry.”

    Gregory Colburn and Amy Colburn — Gregory is a doctor in Palo Alto.

    Robert Flaxman — CEO and founder of Crown Realty & Development, a real estate firm.

    Elizabeth Henriquez and Manuel Henriquez — Manuel is the “founder, chairman, and CEO of a publicly traded specialty finance company based in Palo Alto, California.”

    Douglas Hodge — Former CEO of Pacific Investment Management Co. Bloomberg got him on the phone to talk about the scandal. He said, “I can’t talk right now.”

    Felicity Huffman — An actress who most notably starred in Desperate Housewives.

    Agustin Huneeus Jr. — An “owner of vineyards in Napa, California.”

    Bruce Isackson and Davina Isackson — Bruce is president of real estate firm WP Investments.

    Michelle Janavs — A “former executive at a large food manufacturer formerly owned by members of her family.”

    Elisabeth Kimmel — A Las Vegas and La Jolla resident and “owner and president of a media company.”

    Marjorie Klapper — A resident of Menlo Park, California, and the co-owner of “a jewelry business.”

    Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli — Loughlin is an actress best known for her role on Full House and Giannulli, her husband, is a fashion designer.

    Toby MacFarlane — A former “senior executive at a title insurance company.”

    William E. McGlashan Jr. — A “ senior executive at a global private equity firm,” and the guy behind the Rise Fund, a social impact fund he co-founded with Bono and Jeff Skoll, eBay’s first employee.

    Marci Palatella — CEO of Preservation Distillery in Kentucky.

    Peter Jan Sartorio — A “packaged food entrepreneur.”

    Stephen Semprevivo — An executive at Cydcor, a “privately held provider of outsourced sales teams.”

    Devin Sloane — The founder of aquaTECTURE, a water-focused investment firm in Los Angeles.

    John B. Wilson — The president of private equity firm Hyannis Port Capital and a former executive at Staples and Gap Inc.

    Homayoun Zadeh — A dentistry professor at USC.

    Robert Zangrillo — CEO of Dragon Global, a private investment firm in Miami.’ – source, NYMag

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  35. This seems like a victimless crime but there are kids who might have gotten in these schools but didn’t because of these people.

    This is exactly the kind of high-profile, targeted prosecution that may encourage “elite” colleges and parents to clean up their acts. They will find new methods, to be sure, but maybe this will also encourage everyday people to think twice before they send their kids to learn with people and from colleges like this.

    DRJ (15874d)

  36. I agree with 36. Who knows how many qualified kids lost a place at the school because someone had money, clout and connections to pay for their kids to get in. Kids who did not have the grades, etc. to get in on their own merits.

    Dana (0feb77)

  37. Yes, the qualified kids who lost slots are indeed victims, but I think that as DRJ suggests maybe we should stop being so impressed with admission to schools who so clearly prize admitting legacies and celebrities. If this causes an HR manager somewhere to look at a stack of resumes and say, “You know, instead of automatically moving kids from USC into the Round 2 pile, I’m going to try to find some really interesting graduates from Cal State LA and Long Beach State to interview,” then this whole contretemps will have served a useful purpose.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  38. Also, JVW (and nk), “America’s Sweetheart”?

    Dana (0feb77)

  39. Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty early, was sentenced to 14 days, and released after 11. Lori Loughlin and her husband fought it, and have been sentenced to two and five months.

    But every parent wants to see the best results for their children, and it shouldn’t be a crime to try to achieve that. Had they gone about it the “right” way, and endowed a building or scholarship, nothing would have been said..

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

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