Varsity Blues: The College Admission Scandal & A Look into White-Collar Crime

To the average person, it’s not always totally obvious what white-collar crime looks like. Unfortunately for Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, the media is providing us with a pretty good idea of what white-collar crime looks like. White-collar crime is generally a non-violent economically motivated crime. Often, white-collar crime is perpetuated by businesses or organizations. The most common examples of white-collar crime are fraud, money laundering and embezzlement. To be fair, neither Lori Loughlin nor her husband Mossimo Giannulli have been convicted of any crime. They have, however, been indicted on several charges.  They were most recently indicted on charges of money laundering.

Varsity Blues refers to the college admissions scandal involving several high-profile couples who paid large sums of money to guarantee their children admission into elite colleges. Reports indicate that several couples that were indicted in the college admissions scandal have already reached some sort of plea agreement.  In contrast, Lori Loughlin and her husband have not reached a plea deal.

It is unclear as to why Lori Loughlin and her husband have yet to reach some plea agreement. Public opinion is mounting against them and more charges have been brought against them. In fact, the most recent charge of money laundering is a tactic most often reserved for organized crime or drug cases. The prosecution in this case seems to be taking a stance. It is not uncommon to hear of instances where wealthy or well-connected individuals receive lighter punishments or go unprosecuted. In this case, the prosecution appears to be saying “not this time.”

The fact that Loughlin and her husband have not reached some sort of plea agreement is a big deal because it means that the couple plans on fighting the charges levied against them or they are hoping for a better plea deal. That seems to not be happening. There is also the possibility that Loughlin’s defense team sees a major flaw in the government’s prosecution. For that, the public will most likely have to wait for trial.

In cases like Loughlin’s it is extremely important to have an attorney who not only understands the law but who also understands the importance of how the court of public opinion can influence the prosecution and the jury. Moving forward, Loughlin’s attorneys have a difficult battle ahead of them. They’ll have to carefully balance their client’s image in the media and continuously weigh the risks and benefits of proceeding forth with a trial.

The Varsity Blues college admissions scandal is providing the American public with a look into white-collar crime. It is unsurprising that that this sort of scandal is receiving so much public attention. More now than ever, wealthy and/or famous individuals are convicted by the media before the defendants have a chance to tell their story. For people like Loughlin, the name of the game is controlling the story. When you hire an attorney to represent you, and you’ve been accused of a white-collar crime, hire an attorney who knows how to write that story.