Lori Loughlin and her husband say college bribery charges must be tossed

Lori Loughlin et al. standing next to a man wearing a suit and tie

They claim the authorities ordered Rick Singer - the ringleader in the case - to call the "donations" Loughlin, her husband Mossimo Giannulli, and the others gave him for colleges they were hoping to get their kids into "bribes".

Loughlin and Giannulli are scheduled to go on trial in October on charges that they paid $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as fake crew recruits.

"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.

Defence attorneys for the famous couple and other parents fighting the charges said on Wednesday the case can not stand because investigators bullied their informant into lying and then concealed evidence that would bolster the parents' claims of innocence. "That misconduct can not be ignored".

A spokeswoman for US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said Wednesday night that his office had no comment on the filing.

The docs further state that Rick Singer, the ringleader behind the college admissions scandal, had discussions with FBI investigators in which they "directed him" to make phone calls to his clients in order to get incriminating statements.

Furthermore, Loughlin's legal team believes that the notes indicate that the mastermind behind the admissions scam was "bullied Singer into fabricating evidence and trying to trick parents into falsely agreeing that the payments were bribes". Singer reportedly told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that clients "typically do not know that [former USC official Donna] Heinel is involved until the time of their first payment", which suggests they may not have known the payment was suspicious. Singer also claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigation instructed him to lie on recorded calls.

Short story. the defense says the government has lied, fabricated incriminating evidence and intentionally withheld evidence it was supposed to turn over that tended to show these were not bribes. They also contend that prosecutors then withheld the evidence of the misconduct for almost nine months.

The defense also accused investigators of allowing Singer to delete thousands of text messages from his cellphone and then mounting an "aggressive (and highly successful) pressure campaign" to get parents to plead guilty. At that time, they filed a document alleging that the government had only hours earlier turned over the notes from Singer's iPhone.

The defense team, led by William J. Trach, argued that the misconduct warrants dismissal of the case, or at least suppression of the recorded calls.

Loughlin and Giannulli have long protested their innocence in the scheme that also involved a host of other prominent parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to two weeks in prison, community service and a $30,000 fine after pleading guilty previous year.



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