Many are familiar with the recent college admissions scandal in which 33 parents were accused of paying upwards of 25 million dollars between 2011 and 2018 to the organizer of the scheme, William Rick Singer, to fraudulently have their children admitted into top universities across the country. Amidst this group of 33 parents, Lori Loughlin, a popular American actress, along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli was accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters would be admitted to USC as fake members of the university rowing team. They pleaded not guilty against the allegations and have avoided punishment since.
However, new charges have been filed against the couple, and on Friday, Nov. 1, they again pleaded not guilty. They now face up to 45 years in prison. Their guilt was quite obvious given the extremity of the charges and the fact that several other celebrities involved in the scandal have mocked her after her pleadings of not guilty. Furthermore, neither of her daughters attend USC anymore, a school which proved to be involved in the scandal, implying that it was likely that the accusations were true about their admittance to the university. Some, such as William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal, considers these charges overreaching and claims that Loughlin should be simply “stuck with a fat fine and community service.”
By arguing that their punishment should avoid jail time altogether, this enforces the fallacy that morals and laws don’t apply to Loughlin and her husband simply because of their fame and fortune. Simply because their crimes were non-violent does not alleviate the seriousness of their actions. We as high school students are more than familiar with the amount of work put into school and the stress we undergo so that we may have a chance at being admitted into these esteemed universities. The true victims of their crimes and others like it are the hard working students who rightfully deserved to be admitted to these universities, but are denied as a result of fraudulent admissions. Perhaps 45 years is a bit much. I believe a minimum of 5 years jail time is in order, on top of a massive fine. The extent of their punishment will be determined in their trial in the near future.
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