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Although a judge denied Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s request to have their college admissions scandal case dismissed, he nonetheless noted that the allegations they made against the prosecution are "troubling" and "disturbing."
In court documents previously obtained by Fox News, attorneys for the famous couple argued that the entire case should be thrown out after notes from scam mastermind William "Rick" Singer seemingly showed that agents had urged him to lie in order to implicate parents like Loughlin and Giannulli in committing a criminal act.
In a new three-page memorandum from Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton that was obtained by Fox News, he recounts the allegations, noting that they do not merit the "drastic sanction" of throwing the case out, but still demands the prosecution address them.
"In their motion to dismiss the indictment (Docket No. 971), defendants contend that the government’s failure 1) to disclose contemporaneous notes taken by Rick Singer and 2) to investigate his assertions of investigatorial misconduct in those notes warrant the extraordinary remedy of dismissal of the indictment," his letter reads. "The government rejoins that although counsel should have produced Singer’s notes earlier, that mistake was neither willful nor prejudicial and does not merit any such drastic sanction."
Judge Gorton’s words echo those previously made by the prosecution in which they denied acting in bad faith or that Singer’s notes were at all exonerating to the famous couple.
In January, the couple’s attorney accused prosecutors of withholding evidence that could help prove that they weren’t aware the $500,000 they were paying to Singer to get their daughters, Isabella and Oliva Jade Giannulli, admitted to the University of Southern California went to personal bribes rather than legitimate donations to the school. However, despite what Singer wrote in his notes, the prosecution argued that, regardless of whether the money was called a "donation" or a "bribe," a crime still took place.
Despite his decision to move forward with the case, the judge’s note makes it clear that the allegations brought up by the famous couple’s attorneys are something that will have to be addressed as the case goes forward.
"The Court considered the allegations in Singer’s October notes to be serious and disturbing. While government agents are permitted to coach cooperating witnesses during the course of an investigation, they are not permitted to suborn the commission of a crime," the note reads. "The government is therefore directed to respond specifically in its sur-reply to the allegations of investigatorial misconduct on October 2, 2018."
Loughlin and Giannulli previously pleaded not guilty to expanded charges of bribery brought against them in October along with 11 other parents swept up in the scandal. The duo has been accused of arranging a total collective payment of $500,000 to Singer to get their daughters recruited to USC as athletes on the crew team, despite never having participated in the sport.
The charge of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The couple was previously hit with charges of money laundering and conspiracy that could land them behind bars for 40 years if convicted on all of them.