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Attorneys for Lori Loughlin, husband say government ‘appears to be concealing’ evidence in college admission scandal case

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 3: Actress Lori Loughlin, in tan at center, leaves as her husband Mossimo Giannulli, in green tie at right, follows behind her outside the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019. Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 13 parents scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston Wednesday for the first time since they were charged last month in a massive college admissions cheating scandal. They were among 50 people - including coaches, powerful financiers, and entrepreneurs - charged in a brazen plot in which wealthy parents allegedly schemed to bribe sports coaches at top colleges to admit their children. Many of the parents allegedly paid to have someone else take the SAT or ACT exams for their children or correct their answers, guaranteeing them high scores. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Attorneys for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, say the US government is hiding evidence that would benefit the couple’s defense in the college admission scandal.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to the scandal’s mastermind, Rick Singer, to have their daughters pose as University of Southern California athletes. They were also later accused of bribing USC employees to get their daughters admitted.

The couple pleaded not guilty in April to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They also pleaded not guilty in November to a bribery charge.

In a motion filed Friday, defense attorneys say Loughlin and Giannulli did not know their money was being used to bribe Donna Heinel, a USC official, as federal prosecutors are claiming.

“The Government appears to be concealing exculpatory evidence that helps show that both Defendants believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself — for legitimate, university-approved purposes — or to other legitimate charitable causes,” the motion read.

Defense attorneys are asking a judge to order prosecutors to release the beneficial evidence, some of which they say shows statements made by Singer detailing how their money would be used and USC’s knowledge of the operation.

“The Government must, therefore, prove, among other things, that Giannulli and Loughlin intended to defraud USC,” the motion read.

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