The fashion designer was sentenced to five months in prison Friday morning for his part in the nationwide college admissions scandal, just hours before his wife, “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, learned her own fate. Loughlin, who was believed to have a less active role in the crimes, received two months of jail time.
The sentence was a clear message from U.S. District judge Nathaniel Gorton that college admissions cannot be bought. Giannulli also received two years of supervised release, 250 hours of community service and a $250,000 fine, while Loughlin received two years of supervised release, 100 hours of community service and a $100,000 fine.
Giannulli and Loughlin were perhaps the highest-profile couple, amongst more than 40 other parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, to make headlines last year in the college admissions scandal in which parents paid mastermind William Rick Singer large sums of money to get their children into Ivy League and other top U.S. schools.
Prosecutors alleged that Giannulli and Loughlin paid Singer roughly half a million dollars to get both of their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, into the University of Southern California by creating fake profiles, saying they were recruits for the crew team, even though neither rowed.
While the fashion designer and actress couple originally pleaded not guilty, the pair entered into a plea deal in May, whereby each pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, with Giannulli also pleading guilty to honest services wire and mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts.
“I deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughter, my wife and others,” Giannulli said Friday during a Zoom hearing. “I take full responsibility for my conduct. I’m ready to accept the consequences and move forward with the lessons I’ve learned from this experience.”
Judge Gorton accepted the plea deal on behalf of both Giannulli and Loughlin. Giannulli had originally faced up to 50 years in prison. He now has 90 days to report to jail.
But the family has already been feeling the fallout of the high-profile scandal. Sephora cut ties with YouTube influencer Olivia Jade shortly after the scandal broke in March 2019.