On Friday, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton, who is overseeing the nation’s college admissions scandal in which actress Lori Loughlin is involved in, called the allegations of law enforcement misconduct “serious and disturbing.”
14 parents, including Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, are seeking dismissal of the case because of the alleged misconduct.
William ‘Rick’ Singer, the mastermind of the scheme, was cooperating with the FBI. Singer wrote that the agents told him to lie and get his clients to restate they were making bribes to college officials.
“The Court considers the allegations in Singer’s October notes to be serious and disturbing,” Gorton wrote. “While government agents are permitted to coach cooperating witnesses during the course of an investigation, they are not permitted to suborn the commission of a crime.”
Singer also wrote that FBI officials wanted him to not restate what he actually told his clients and that is that they were making a payment to an athletic program, not a college coach.
Defense attorneys say this served as evidence that their clients’ are innocent. That the parents thought they were making legitimate donations, not bribing college officials. The defense says the government “knowingly withheld” the evidence, which was not turned over until February.
Judge Gorton did not decide if he was going to dismiss the case. Gorton ordered prosecutors to provide more information and respond to the allegations. The defendants have until May 1 to respond to the government.