Lori Loughlin’s fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, was sentenced in federal court Friday to five months behind bars for his role in the college-admissions cheating scandal that a judge labeled a “breathtaking fraud.”
Loughlin is also due to be sentenced later Friday afternoon for her role in a scheme to get her and Giannulli’s daughters admitted to the University of Southern California by falsely portraying them as elite athletes worthy of special consideration.
Loughlin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in May after more than a year of her and Giannulli fighting with prosecutors over their part in the larger national scandal dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.”
Giannulli also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud in connection to the scheme.
U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton scolded Giannulli, telling the defendant he callously took advantage of privilege.
“I see lots of drug dealers, gun runners and people who have committed violent crimes who’ve grown up without role models sometimes being abused themselves,” Gorton said.
“You are not stealing bread to feed your family. You have no excuse for your crime. That makes it all the more blameworthy.”
Giannulli led “the good life in Southern California,” but still committed a crime “motivated by hubris, according to the judge.
“You are an informed, smart, successful businessman,” Gorton said. “You certainly did know better and yet you helped sponsor a breathtaking fraud on our system of education and involved your wife and your two daughters in cheating and faking their ways into a prestigious university.”
He was ordered to report to prison on Nov. 19.
In addition to his prison sentence, Giannulli was ordered Friday to pay a $250,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service.
Friday’s sentencing comes after federal investigators last year uncovered a network of wealthy parents who paid thousands of dollars to a California man who boosted their children’s chances of gaining entrance into elite colleges
The scheme was led by William “Rick” Singer, who ran a for-profit college counseling and preparation business. Singer torpedoed the entire operation when he agreed to wear a wire and cooperate with investigators.
A number of other privileged parents were caught up in the scandal, including “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman.
Huffman served 11 days of a 14-day sentence in October after she admitted to paying for someone to proctor and correct her daughter’s college board test, which resulted in the score jumping 400 points above her PSAT performance to 1420 out of a possible 1600.
In the case of Loughlin and Giannulli, prosecutors alleged that in addition to falsely presenting their daughters to the university as crew team athletes, the parents instructed their younger daughter not to answer any questions from her high school counselor if he asked about her being flagged as a crew recruit.
Giannulli later confronted that counselor “aggressively” and “bluntly stated that (his younger daughter) was a coxswain,” prosecutors alleged in a sentencing memo.
Neither of the daughters, who are no longer enrolled in USC, has been charged.
Lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment on the assertions in the sentencing memo filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.