Share
Sports

Coach pleads to college admissions scam, could hurt Loughlin

Share

BOSTON (AP) — A former assistant soccer coach at the University of Southern California switched her plea to guilty Tuesday in the college admissions scam, admitting to creating fake athletic profiles for the children of wealthy parents, including actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.

Laura Janke, 36, has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and could be called to testify against others, including “Full House” star Loughlin and Giannulli, who have pleaded not guilty.

Janke had initially pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering in March. She pleaded guilty after reaching a plea deal.

She has also agreed to pay a nearly $135,000 forfeiture judgment, which prosecutors said equals the amount she benefited from in the scheme.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that they are seeking a sentence of 27 to 33 months in prison, though the charge carries a maximum of 20 years. The Los Angeles resident will be sentenced Oct. 17.

Trending:
NIH Confirms It Funded Wuhan Gain-of-Function Research, Now Fauci Could Spend 5 Years in Jail

Janke spoke in court only to answer the judge’s yes or no questions and declined through her lawyer to comment after the hearing.

Janke is the fourth coach to plead guilty in what authorities say is the biggest college admissions scheme ever prosecuted in the U.S. She accepted bribes and helped make bogus athletic profiles to get applicants admitted to universities as recruits for sports they didn’t play, authorities said.

One of the fake profiles was for Olivia Jade Giannulli, a YouTube star and the youngest daughter of Loughlin and designer Giannulli. The profile portrayed the teenager as a competitive rower even though she didn’t play the sport, prosecutors said. She was ultimately admitted to USC as a crew recruit.

Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into USC. They haven’t commented publicly and their lawyers and representative didn’t respond to an email seeking comment on Tuesday’s developments.

In court, prosecutors said bribes totaling more than $300,000 were sent to the accounts of private summer soccer camps run by Janke and former USC women’s soccer head coach Ali Khosroshahin, who is also a defendant.

When she left the university in 2014, Janke continued working on the scheme, helping create many of the fake athletic profiles cited in the case, authorities said. Those profiles were used to gain students admission not just at USC, but also at Stanford and Yale.

In one instance, Janke created a bogus profile for the daughter of Toby MacFarlane, a former senior executive at a title insurance company, which described her as a “US Club Soccer All American,” prosecutors said. MacFarlane’s daughter graduated from USC last year without ever playing at the school.

Janke also created a fake athletic profile for MacFarlane’s son that described him as over 6 feet tall when he was really 5 feet 5, authorities said. His son didn’t play basketball at USC and withdrew from the school last year, they said.

Former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith, former Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer and former Texas at Austin men’s tennis coach Michael Center have already pleaded guilty in the sweeping case.

Related:
New Retrial Date Set for Man Previously Convicted of Killing Ex- NFL Star

A total of 50 people have been charged, including 33 parents, 10 coaches and college athletics officials, and seven others accused of orchestrating bribes or a separate scheme to cheat on college entrance exams.

Most of the coaches face charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, while most parents face charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

On Monday, actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT score in the scheme.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation