PICTURES were taken of influencer Olivia Jade on a rowing machine to help with her fraudulent application into the University of Southern California during a college admissions scandal in 2019.
The admissions ploy saw the photos submitted alongside a $500K bribe by her famous parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, to get Olivia Jade and her sister into the school on rowing credentials.
What was the college admissions scandal?
Prosecutors say Full House star Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, a designer, staged fake photos and compiled fake resumes to get their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella into USC on fraudulent athletic credentials.
The couple tried to get their daughters into the school as crew athletes, despite neither girl actually being a rower.
The parents were arrested in March 2019 and were accused by federal prosecutors of paying $500,000 to ensure their daughters would be accepted to USC as crew recruits.
A copy of Olivia's alleged resume, released by prosecutors, fraudulently portrayed her as a "highly talented" athlete who had won several rowing competitions.
The 57-year-old star and her husband pleaded guilty in May of 2020 to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in the admissions scandal.
They were both sentenced to prison, with Loughlin getting out in December of 2020 and Giannulli in April of 2021.
What were the photos of Olivia Jade rowing?
Pictures of Loughlin's daughters posing on rowing machines were submitted to the court as part of the Memorandum in Opposition that was filed in the case by prosecutors and that was obtained by The Sun.
There was also a copy of the email exchange between Giannulli and the man who masterminded the plan, William Rick Singer, that was also submitted.
In one email he wrote: “Lori and Moss, I met with USC today. I need a PDF of her transcript and test scores very soon while I create a coxswain portfolio for her."
He then added, in reference to Bella: "It would probably help to get a picture with her on an ERG in workout clothes like a real athlete too."
Complying, fake photos were staged of Isabella and Olivia Jade working out on a rowing machine.
A source told Us Weekly that Olivia, an influencer, was alleged to be "really embarrassed" by the publication of the pictures.
Was Olivia Jade charged?
Prosecutors in the Loughlin and Giannulli case claimed Olivia Jade knew of her parents' plans to bribe their daughters' way into the school, which made her complicit and therefore opened her up to charges of her own.
Court documents from April 2019 showed Olivia Jade’s email address copied on several messages regarding the scam, as reported by Vulture.
“They [Loughlin and Giannulli] involved both their daughters in the fraud, directing them to pose in staged photographs for use in fake athletic profiles and instructing one daughter how to conceal the scheme from her high school counselor,” court documents submitted by federal prosecutors state.
What is Operation Varsity Blues?
In 2019, a scandal arose where several wealthy American parents banded together to illegally bribe top universities into letting their children in.
- The investigation into the conspiracy was code-named Operation Varsity Blues.
- At least 53 people total have been charged as a result of the investigation.
- William Rick Singer was the organizer of the scheme.
- 33 parents of college applicants are accused of paying more than $25 million between 2011 and 2018 to aid fraudulent efforts.
“When their daughter [Olivia Jade] asked whether she should list USC as her top choice school, Loughlin replied: ‘Yes, but it might be a flag for the weasel to meddle,'" a reference to Olivia Jade's high school guidance counselor.
What brands dropped Olivia Jade and where is she now?
Amazon and TRESemmé dropped Olivia Jade as a result of the scandal, as well as Estee Lauder companies.
Sephora, who was also in partnership with Olivia Jade, released a statement citing that they had "made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately.”
On Wednesday, September 8, 2021, Good Morning America revealed Olivia Jade would appear on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
Olivia Jade said her Lori, her mom is in “total mom mode” preparing for the dance competition.
“My mom’s been a huge support,” she said at a press event before the show.
“She’s in total mom mode, like, ‘Make sure you take an Epsom salt bath.’ She’s trying to get me to take an ice bath! I’m like, ‘I don’t need an ice bath yet!’ My sister [Bella] has been telling me she wants to come to every single show."
Olivia Jade added: “I think it’s such an incredible opportunity. I’m ready to put myself back out there and try new things.
“I’m really excited to challenge myself and put myself outside my comfort zone, which I don’t do often. So, it just all happened, and I’m just letting the universe take over and see what happens and living it day by day."
She and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, were the eighth couple to be eliminated from the 30th season of the show.
On October 24, 2021, Olivia Jade launched a podcast in partnership with iHeartRadio, Conversations with Olivia Jade.
The show has seen her talking with a series of different people, including doctors, athletes, and dancers.
In December of 2021, it was reported that Olivia Jade is "casually dating" Euphoria actor Jacob Elordi, according to People magazine.
How long were Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli sentenced?
Loughlin and her husband faced 60 years in prison and over $1million dollars in fines for allegedly bribing University of Southern California officials.
They were charged with: conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud; conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The couple had pleaded guilty on May 21, 2020 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
Additionally, Giannulli, 58, pleaded guilty to honest service wire and mail fraud in exchange for five months in prison, a $250,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service.
Giannulli reported to prison in November 2020 and was released in April 2021.
Loughlin, 57, was sentenced to two months in prison, and paid a $150,000 fine.
Additionally, two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service.
The Full House star reported to prison in October 2020. She was released in December of the same year.
What other people were involved?
Loughlin and her husband were two of a handful of indicted parents in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal who chose to fight their charges.
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The couple – who had previously pleaded not guilty and firmly claimed their innocence – were the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case.
Other parents in the scandal included notable actress Felicity Huffman, author Jane Buckingham and former Canadian Football league player David Sidoo.
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