Mossimo Giannulli, who along with wife Lori Loughlin has been charged with fraud stemming from the college admissions scam, took his parents' tuition money for University of Southern California (USC) but never actually enrolled, according to reports and his own daughter, Olivia Jade.
Giannulli, 55, admitted as much himself in a resurfaced 2016 interview.
“SC was expensive, so that was how I was starting my company. I used all that cash,” he told The Hundreds, allegedly "unapologetically."
Giannulli lived in a frat house despite not being enrolled in USC, where he screenprinted T-shirts for campus groups, which he says sparked his ambition. “I used to have hundreds of thousands of cash in my top drawer in my fraternity house. And I was like, ‘This is kind of too easy. I need a bigger platform. If I had a bigger account base, I could really kill it.’”
The fashion designer reportedly attended USC for the 1984 spring semester at the College of Continuing Education, which is a non-degree program with no official admission requirements and that is open to anyone. Students in the program have "visitor" status at the school.
“I don’t know if I am supposed to say this, sorry dad," the 19-year-old YouTube star said. "But [he] was like never enrolled in college, he faked his way through it. Yeah, so then he started his whole business with tuition money that his parents thought was going to college.”
Giannulli and former Hallmark starlet Loughlin are accused of paying two $500,000 bribes to William "Rick" Singer to get daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella into USC as crew team recruits, despite neither girl being a rower. They each face up to 40 years in prison after they rejected a plea bargain and were slapped with additional charges of money laundering and conspiracy.
On Monday, the couple pleaded not guilty.