The judge who's overseeing actress Lori Loughlin's case as part of the college admissions scandal has written that he's disturbed by the defense's recent allegations of misconduct, and asked prosecutors for more information. According to Variety, Loughlin's attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton to throw out the case, arguing that federal agents had pressured admissions consultant (and cooperating witness) Rick Singer to entrap parents in criminal conduct.
"The Court considers the allegations in Singer's October notes to be serious and disturbing," Gorton wrote on Friday. "While government agents are permitted to coach cooperating witnesses during the course of an investigation, they are not permitted to suborn the commission of a crime." The defense has cited Singer's notes Gorton references, where he complained that an agent had asked him to "bend the truth" in recorded calls. Loughlin, as well as husband Mossimo Giannulli, are facing charges on bribery, fraud and money laundering after allegedly paying $500,000 to ensure their two daughters were admitted to USC.
Gorton's comments came as part of a three-page order that instructed prosecutors to specifically address the claims that Singer had been improperly coached. Prosecutors have stated previously there was no need to investigate the claim because the charge was untrue, meaning there was "nothing to investigate."
In October, Singer wrote that agents "continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where their money was going -- to the program, not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment." The defense has also argued that the couple believed the money was a legitimate donation to the school, and government agents encouraged Singer not to offer that explanation in the recorded calls.
In March, Loughlin and Giannulli, along with several other parents involved, had tried to get the charges against them dropped, alleging prosecutors on the case are guilty of misconduct. Those claims also revolved around allegations that Singer's testimony was coaxed and therefore inadmissible in court.
While the case isn't headed for trial until October, the former Fuller House star has recently stated that she's "exhausted" by the entire process. "She hasn't wavered from her not guilty plea for months," a source told Entertainment Tonight. "At this point, Lori and her husband have absolutely no plans to make a deal despite the feds' response to her allegations. The prosecution's pressure has had no effect. Lori and her husband maintain they made a charitable donation."