Prosecutors release photos of Lori Loughlin's daughters on rowing machines allegedly used in USC scam

Federal prosecutors say the photos show Isabella and Olivia Giannulli on rowing machines and were part of phony athletic profiles used to get the two admitted to USC.
/ Source: TODAY
By Diana Dasrath and Scott Stump

Federal prosecutors have released photos they say Lori Loughlin and her husband used to dupe the University of Southern California into admitting their two daughters to the school as rowing athletes.

In new court documents released Wednesday, Isabella Giannulli, now 21, and her sister Olivia, now 20, who are no longer enrolled at USC, are allegedly pictured in athletic wear using indoor rowing machines.

Prosecutors said Loughlin and her husband used the pictures, in which the daughters’ faces are blurred, to claim the two were competitive rowers in high school. Neither daughter participated in the sport.

Federal prosecutors released photos they say Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli used in an alleged scam to get their two daughters admitted to USC.

The new documents were filed as part of the ongoing college admissions scandal in which prosecutors claim the former "Full House" star and husband Mossimo Giannulli paid $500,000 in bribes to help secure their daughters' admissions to the elite California school. Isabella and Olivia’s names are not used in the documents. Neither has been charged with a crime.

The mastermind of the scheme, college prep executive Rick Singer, who has already pleaded guilty to multiple charges, advised Loughlin and Giannulli to take the photos to help him create fake coxswain profiles for Isabella and Olivia, according to the documents.

"(I)t would probably help to get a picture with her on an ERG in workout clothes like a real athlete too," Singer wrote about Isabella in a 2016 email to Giannulli, according to prosecutors.

Federal prosecutors have submitted photos they say show the daughters of Lori Loughlin working out on rowing machines to pose as athletes to help gain admission to USC.

"Fantastic," Giannulli replied, according to the documents. "Will get all."

After Isabella was admitted to USC, Singer's bookkeeper emailed Giannulli an invoice for a $200,000 contribution to Singer's foundation, the documents claim.

"Good news my daughter is in *U)SC ... bad (news) is I had to work the system," Giannulli allegedly wrote in an email to his financial advisor in March 2017.

Lori Loughlin and daughters Isabella Rose, left, and Olivia Jade Giannulli in 2017.Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic

Prosecutors said Singer and Giannulli repeated the process four months later when Singer asked Giannulli to send him an "action picture" of Olivia for a fake profile listing her as a coxswain, the rower who steers the boat, for the L.A. Marina Club crew team.

After Olivia was admitted to USC, Singer again invoiced the couple for $200,000, prosecutors alleged.

The new photos come about two months after prosecutors released what they said was a fake athletic profile stating Olivia was a “highly talented coxswain” who "has been successful in both men's and women's boats” dating back to 2014.

Loughlin and Giannulli have both pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Attorneys for the couple filed a motion last month to dismiss charges against them, claiming investigators bullied Singer into lying and then concealed evidence supporting the claim that they believed the payments were legitimate donations to the school and not bribes.

The couple will stand trial starting on Oct. 5 in federal court in Boston.