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Lori Loughlin's husband says he never enrolled at USC, took parents' tuition money

Mossimo Giannulli said in a 2016 interview that he faked being a USC student to his parents and used the tuition money to start his company.
/ Source: TODAY

The widespread college admissions cheating scandal may not be the first time fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli has been involved in alleged duplicity when it comes to the University of Southern California.

Days after Giannulli and his wife, Lori Loughlin, pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into college, a 2016 interview has surfaced suggesting that the fashion designer faked his college years.

In the interview with The Hundreds fashion blog, Giannulli said that he lied to his parents about attending USC in the 1980s and used the tuition money to start a T-shirt business instead.

"SC was expensive, so that was how I was starting my company,'' he said. "I used all that cash."

The blog post also noted that Giannulli falsified report cards to convince his father that he was a USC student and even created fake tuition bills to get his hands on the money.

Giannulli and Loughlin's younger daughter, social media influencer Olivia Jade, told a similar story on the "Zach Sang Show" on YouTube last month before the scandal surfaced.

"He has a really crazy story in college,'' she said about her father. "He wasn't actually — I don't know if I'm supposed to say this, sorry, dad — ever enrolled in college. But he faked his way through it, and then he started his whole business with tuition money that his parents thought was going to college."

Loughlin, Giannulli and Olivia Jade did not respond to requests for comment by TODAY.

Giannulli and Loughlin face a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

There also could be more indictments in the case, as more parents have struck deals with federal prosecutors to help them charge additional people, NBC News confirmed.

Two of the 13 parents who've agreed to plead guilty, California real estate investor Bruce Isackson and his wife, Davina, have struck a cooperation agreement after being charged with paying $600,000 in bribes to get their daughters into college. One of their daughters, Lauren, posed as a soccer star to help her get into UCLA despite never playing competitively.

The Isacksons could receive lighter sentences if they provide prosecutors information that leads to further indictments.

"Our duty as parents was to set a good example for our children, and instead we have harmed and embarrassed them by our misguided decisions,'' the Isacksons said in a statement to TODAY.