California executive pleads guilty in college admission plot

Entertainment

A California businessman said to have steered “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, to the ringleader of the college admissions bribery scheme admitted Monday to paying $40,000 to rig his daughter’s ACT score.

Mark Hauser, an insurance and private equity executive who was once head of the board at the high school the famous couple’s daughters attended, became the 29th parent to plead guilty to participating in the scandal involving top universities across the country.

Lawyers for the famous couple said at their sentencing hearings last month that Hauser was the one who recommended they work with the admissions consultant at the center of the scheme.

Hauser had not previously been publicly named in the case. Prosecutors unveiled the charge against Hauser hours after Loughlin and Giannulli’s sentencing hearings ended.

Loughlin was ordered to serve two months behind bars for paying half a million dollars to get her two daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits even though neither girl was a rower. Giannulli was sentenced to five months. They are supposed to report to prison on Nov. 19.

Hauser, 59, of Los Angeles, paid Singer $40,000 to have someone pose as his daughter’s ACT proctor and secretly correct her answers in 2016, authorities said in court documents. The proctor, Mark Riddell, has also pleaded guilty in the scheme. Riddell got Hauser’s daughter a score of 31 out of 36, prosecutors said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said prosecutors believe Hauser’s daughter was unaware of the cheating scheme.

Hauser pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors have said they will ask for a sentence of six months in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Hauser appeared before a Boston federal court judge a via videoconference from California because of the coronavirus pandemic. He said little aside from answering yes or no questions from the judge about his decision to plead guilty.

An email seeking comment was sent to a lawyer for Hauser after the hearing.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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