SALT LAKE CITY — A former coach from the University of Southern California has pleaded guilty in the college admissions scandal.
On Tuesday, Laura Janke, a former soccer coach at USC, pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge. She reportedly created fake athletic profiles for sons and daughters of wealthy parents, who had allegedly paid their child’s way onto teams and into college, according to NPR.
Janke previously denied taking bribes for writing the fake sports profiles. However, she’s now the fourth corrupt coach to plead guilty in the college admissions scandal, the New York Post reports. Janke admitted she took $130,000 in illegal payouts.
Prosecutors say William “Rick” Singer — believed to be the mastermind behind the whole scandal — funneled the money through a soccer camp that had been run by Janke and Ali Khosroshahin, who is the head coach of the USC’s women’s soccer team, according to NPR.
“Under a plea agreement Janke signed last month, she has been cooperating with prosecutors who say she could testify against others charged in the case, including actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli,” according to NPR.
Why it matters: NPR reports that Janke helped create sports profiles for Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, who were accepted to USC as crew team recruits, even though they never competed in a crew. Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes for their daughters to be admitted to USC.
New details: According to USA Today, prosecutors say Singer — dubbed the “mastermind behind the college admissions scam” — emailed Janke on July 14, 2017, and directed her to create a crew profile for Olivia Jade, who is a YouTube star.
“Ok sounds good. Please send me the pertinent information and I will get started,” Janke said, according to USA Today.
Singer then asked Loughlin and Giannulli for details for the profile, prosecutors say, according to USA Today.
“He told them the profile would present her — falsely — as a crew coxswain for the L.A. Marina Club team. He requested an ‘action photo’ from the couple of her daughter participating in crew,” according to USA Today.
“Giannulli sent back a photo of the daughter on an ergometer, a type of indoor rowing machine,” USA Today reports.
Then, there was an email exchange between Singer and Loughlin, according to USA Today. Singer wrote “CONGRATULATIONS!!!” to Loughlin in an email subject line, with Olivia Jade’s acceptance letter attached.
Loughlin reportedly replied, “This is wonderful news!" with a high-five emoji.7 comments on this story
Singer asked Loughlin “to keep hush hush till March,” according to USA Today. And Loughlin respond, “Yes of course.”
These details will matter when Loughlin goes to court. She and her husband pleadednot guilty in an earlier court date, and all reports suggest that Loughlin wants to go to court and prove her innocence. Loughlin and Giannulli are reportedly looking to claim ignorance in the trial, according to Fox News.
But email evidence provided by prosecutors that shows Loughlin and her husband did have an exchange with Singer raises questions about how much they knew.