Attorneys for “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli asked a federal judge to throw out their college admissions bribery case, alleging misconduct and entrapment, reports Newsweek. Defendants in the “Operation Varsity Blues” scheme told U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston that the behavior of prosecutors in the case was grounds for dismissal. “The extraordinary government misconduct presented in this case threatens grave harm to defendants and the integrity of this proceeding,” the lawyers wrote in the filing Wednesday. “That misconduct cannot be ignored.” Loughlin and Giannulli have protested their innocence in the scheme that involved a host of other parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to two weeks in prison, community service and a $30,000 fine after pleading guilty.
The couple say they were unaware that mastermind William Singer’s charity was not genuine when they gave him $500,000 as a donation. Prosecutors say the money was intended to buy their two daughters into the University of Southern California on rowing scholarships, despite neither daughter’s participating in the sport. Defense attorneys insist that notes written by Singer show that federal agents pressured him into convincing the parents to agree that the money constituted a payment for college admissions rather than a donation. “The notes state that agents browbeat Singer and instructed him to lie in order to elicit misleading evidence that was inconsistent with the actual facts that Singer had explained to agents,” the lawyers wrote. Prosecutors misbehaved by failing to present the notes to the defense until last month in an attempt to coax the defendants into pleading guilty, the attorneys argue.