Actor Lori Loughlin was released from jail Monday after spending two months behind bars for paying half a million dollars in bribes to bring her two daughters to college.
Loughlin has been released from federal prison in Dublin, California, where she was serving her sentence for her role in the college admissions corruption program, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) said.
Her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, is serving his five-month sentence in a Lompoc prison near Santa Barbara, California.
Giannulli is expected to be released on April 17, according to the BOP. Prosecutors said Giannulli deserved a harsher sentence because he was “the most active participant in the program”.
Loughlin and Giannulli were among the most high-profile defendants charged in the scheme, revealing efforts by some wealthy parents to get their children to elite universities.
Authorities said parents funneled bribes through a bogus charity run by an admissions consultant to bring their children to top schools with fake athletic credentials or rigged test results.
The famous couple admitted in May that they paid $ 500,000 to bring their two daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither of the girls were rowers.
Actor Felicity Huffman served nearly two weeks in prison last year for paying an admissions consultant $ 15,000 to have a supervisor correct his daughter’s SAT responses.
Their guilty plea was a shocking reversal for the couple, whose lawyers had insisted for a year to be innocent and accused investigators of fabricating evidence against them.
The only public comments Loughlin or Giannulli have made on the case since their arrest last year were during their sentencing hearings in August.
Loughlin, who gained fame for her role as healthy Aunt Becky on the sitcom, Full House, told the judge her actions had “helped exacerbate existing inequalities in society” and pledged to do everything what was in his power to use his experience as a “catalyst for good.”
She previously said she acted out of love for her daughters.
Their youngest daughter, social media influencer Olivia Jade, made her first public remarks on the scandal this month on the Red Table Talk series. Olivia Jade has stated that she neither wants nor deserves pity.
“We were wrong. I just want a second chance to be like, ‘I admit I missed it’. And for so long I couldn’t talk about it because of the legalities behind it, ”she said.
Loughlin and Giannulli were initially scheduled to report to jail on November 19, but prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed Loughlin could begin his sentence on October 30.
Loughlin also agreed that she would not seek early release for coronavirus-related reasons, prosecutors said.
Loughlin’s release drew criticism from some on social media, who likened his sentence to people of color who faced longer sentences.
The United States has seen protests, at times violent, against racism in the criminal justice system since the death of George Floyd, a black man, in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
Lori Loughlin. Pleads guilty to federal crimes. Less than 2 months in prison.
Kalief Browder. False accused of stealing a backpack. Unable to post a deposit. I spent 3 years with Riker awaiting trial. Dies by suicide after his release.
Justice is different when you are poor and black. pic.twitter.com/OITKKtONnd
– Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) December 28, 2020
The program was designed by consultant William “Rick” Singer, who admitted to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and using bribery to gain admission to elite schools.
Of nearly 60 parents, coaches and others indicted in the case, a dozen are still fighting the allegations.
Sentences for parents who have argued in the case so far range from a few weeks to nine months.