Attorneys for Parents Charged in College Cheating Scheme Appear in Court
Wealthy parents were charged with conspiracy after they allegedly bribed their children's way into top universities
Lawyers for 19 parents, including Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Gianulli, learned Monday that their clients will have to appear back in federal court in Boston in July.
The judge wants to be able to speak with them to ensure they're clear about information and procedure moving forward.
The parents have not accepted plea deals. All have waived their right to appear in court.
Dozens of wealthy parents are accused of bribing their children's way into elite universities. Some parents allegedly paid to have their children recruited as athletes to get admitted into their university of choice, while others allegedly paid to have their children's entrance exam scores altered.
Loughlin and Giannulli were accused of agreeing to pay $500,000 in bribes to the University of Southern California to have their daughters admitted as part of the crew team. Neither girl rowed.
The attorney for Massachusetts millionaire John Wilson was also in court Monday. Prosecutors say Wilson paid $120,000 to get his son into USC as a member of the water polo team. And he also allegedly has been trying to work deals to get his daughters into Stanford and Harvard.
Fifty people have already been charged in connection with the scheme. Several others have already brokered plea deals -- just today, a former soccer coach at the University of Southern California became the latest to accept one.
Massachusetts attorney Ed Ryan believes some of the parents could have a strong case at trial, but it will be a complicated one to get through.
"I think there are some serious and legitimate legal questions involved in this case," he said.
Prosecutors said today they've already turned over 3 million pages of evidence to defense attorney's already. Prosecutors further raised concern over possible conflicts of interest, suggesting some of the defense teams are representing multiple people involved in the case.
"There could be other firms that were involved early on in this case that represented other people who aren't charged, or were involved in other facets of the case," Ryan said.