A federal judge on Friday declined to dismiss charges against actress Lori Loughlin, her husband, and several other parents accused in the massive college admissions scandal, rebutting allegations that investigators fabricated evidence. Last year, nearly 50 parents were charged after allegedly paying admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer, 58, more than $25 million to get their children into elite universities. Defense lawyers had made allegations of misconduct by FBI agents, calling into question iPhone notes written by Singer that suggested he was secretly working with the government. In the notes, Singer allegedly wrote that investigators told him to lie to parents to have them make incriminating statements over recorded phone conversations—claims U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton called “serious and disturbing” on Friday. Investigators, however, argued they were not pressuring Singer, but just instructing him to be more explicit with clients who had not yet gone through the bribery scheme.
Loughlin, the 54-year-old actress best known for playing Aunt Becky on Full House, and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are scheduled to go on trial in October on charges alleging they paid Singer nearly $500,000 to get their two daughters admitted to USC as crew recruits, even though neither teen had previously rowed crew. The couple has said they thought their payments were legitimate donations.