The Latest: US attorney slams 'judge shopping' complaint - InfoNews

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The Latest: US attorney slams 'judge shopping' complaint

April 09, 2019 - 1:38 PM

BOSTON - The Latest on the case against prominent parents and athletic coaches charged in a sweeping college bribery scam (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

Massachusetts' top federal prosecutor is hitting back against defence attorneys who accused his office of "judge shopping" to get a college admissions bribery case in front of a tough judge.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling responded Tuesday to a letter sent by the lawyers that criticized prosecutors for adding parents charged in the scheme to an indictment already assigned to Judge Nathaniel Gorton.

Lelling said the lawyers are only complaining because they view Gorton as more favourable to prosecutors than other judges in the district. Lelling said there is nothing unusual or improper about how the indictment was brought against the parents.

Lelling called the attorneys' letter "inappropriate" and a "'Hail Mary' by people who know better."

The indictment charges the parents with money laundering conspiracy on top of a fraud charge they were already facing.

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3 p.m.

Attorneys for a group of parents charged in the college admissions bribery scandal are accusing prosecutors of manipulating the legal process to get the case in front of the judge of their choice.

The defence lawyers criticized prosecutors Tuesday for adding their clients to an indictment that has already been assigned to Judge Nathaniel Gorton.

The lawyers say the move is a "clear form of judge shopping" in a letter to Chief Judge Patti Saris.

They want their clients' case randomly assigned to a judge to "stamp out any perception" that prosecutors evaded the standard judge-picking process.

Saris has asked the U.S. attorney's office to respond to the lawyer's letter.

The parents were indicted Tuesday on money laundering and mail fraud conspiracy charges.

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1:45 p.m.

Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have been hit with a new charge in the sweeping college admissions bribery case.

Loughlin and Giannulli were among 16 prominent parents indicted Tuesday on a charge of money laundering conspiracy.

The parents were arrested last month on a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of them played the sport.

They have not publicly commented on the allegations.

The new charges come a day after fellow actress Felicity Huffman and a dozen other parents announced they would plead guilty to the scam .

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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