The problems keep piling up for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli.
Giannulli and Loughlin are facing decades in prison because of their alleged involvement in a college admissions bribery scheme. (Each has entered a not guilty plea.) They’re also looking at an IRS audit after writing off the money they are said to have paid to the scheme’s ringleader as a charitable deduction, according to US Weekly.
Now, there are reports that Giannulli — the designer who created Target’s Mossimo brand — has lied about his own educational background.
Did Giannulli attend USC?
Prosecutors say that Giannulli and Loughlin paid $500,000 to a fake charity in order to guarantee that their two teenage daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, would be admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits.
When news of the indictments first broke, some reports noted that Giannulli had a connection to the Los Angeles university where his daughters were enrolled. He had supposedly attended the school in the 1980s before dropping out to found his clothing business.
However, others quickly noticed a hole in Giannulli’s story. In an earlier interview, he’d confessed that he’d lied to his parents about attending the school.
Giannulli said he used his tuition money to start his business
In 2016, Giannulli talked with the fashion blog The Hundreds. In that interview, he shared some details about how he got his start as a designer. And it involved crafting an elaborate lie to convince his parents he was enrolled in school — including fake report cards and fake tuition bills — and then using the money that would have gone to school to start a T-shirt business.
“SC was expensive, so that was how I was starting my company. I used all that cash,” he said.
“I used to have hundreds of thousands of cash in my top drawer in my fraternity house,” he added. “And I was like, ‘this is kind of too easy. I need a bigger platform. If I had a bigger account base, I could really kill it…’”
In the 1984-85 school year, around the time Giannulli is supposed to have attended, USC tuition was $8,800 a year, according to the school newspaper the Daily Trojan.
Giannulli didn’t hide his unorthodox college experience from his kids. His daughter Olivia Jade talked about on the Zach Sang Show earlier this year.
“He didn’t come from a lot so it’s cool to see that he built it all himself,” she said. “He, like, built his whole entire brand and he wasn’t actually, like, I don’t know if I’m supposed to say this, ever enrolled in college. But he, like, faked his way through it and then he started his whole business with tuition money that his parents thought was going to college. That’s, like, such a different time. I don’t know if I was supposed to say that, but it’s okay.”
It does appear that Giannulli was enrolled, at least briefly, at USC. CNN confirmed that he did attend the school in the spring of 1984, but as a non-matriculating student. Giannulli was enrolled in the College of Continuing Education, a non-degree program with no formal admissions requirements.