Southern California

Loughlin, Other Parents Hit With New Charges in College Admissions Scheme

Lori Loughlin and her husband have previously pleaded not guilty to charges in the sweeping scheme, as have many other parents, though not all

A number of parents and university athletics officials in the college admissions scandal, including actress Lori Loughlin, were hit with a new grand jury indictment adding charges against them in the sprawling case, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

The parents, who were all arrested in March in the alleged nationwide bribery scheme, "conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California (USC) to facilitate their children's admission," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.

In addition to Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, the parents named in the indictment include Gamal Abdelaziz, Diane Blake, Todd Blake, Elisabeth Kimmell, William McGlashan, Jr., Marci Palatella, John Wilson, Homayoun Zadeh and Robert Zangrillo.

Four parents, Joey Chen, McGlashan, Wilson and Zangrillo, were also charged with wire fraud in the scheme. Another one, John Wilson of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, was also charged with bribery connected to his children's admission at Harvard and Stanford, the prosecutors said.

Officials at Georgetown University, USC and UCLA were among the others hit with additional charges in the case Tuesday. Those new charges cover fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiring to commit bribery. The accused had perviously been charged with racketeering conspiracy.

The charges announced Tuesday come out of an ongoing investigation, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement.

"Our goal from the beginning has been to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud. The superseding indictments will further that effort," he said.

Grand jury charges have previously been added in the case — prosecutors said this is the third "superseding indictment," one which adds new charges to ones filed previously.

The new charges filed in the case Tuesday each carry maximum sentences of from three to 20 years in prison.

Court dates haven't yet been scheduled in the case, prosecutors said. It wasn't immediately clear how the parents and their lawyers would respond.

Loughlin and Giannulli have previously pleaded not guilty to charges in the sweeping scheme, as have many other parents, though not all. 

Actress Felicity Huffman was among those who have pleaded guilty, and she reported to a prison in California last week. Just Monday, four others changed their pleas.

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