A federal judge on Tuesday refused early release for Mossimo Giannulli, husband and co-defendant of actress Lori Loughlin, who is serving time for his role in a massive college admission scandal.
The Los Angeles fashion designer failed to make an “extraordinary and compelling” argument that he should serve the remainder of his five-month sentence at home, U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton ruled.
Giannulli argued that his current stint at Federal Correctional Institution, Lompoc is particularly harsh due to coronavirus protocols. He claimed that 56 days spent in isolation “placed a significant toll on his mental, physical and emotional well-being,” court records showed.
“Although the court is cognizant of the onerous conditions imposed on defendant as a result of the (Bureau of Prisons’) emergency Covid-19 response, he has not established that those conditions alone demonstrate an ‘extraordinary and compelling’ reason for his release,” Gorton ruled.
Giannulli had cited the early release of fellow “Operation Varsity Blues” defendant Toby MacFarlane, as evidence that he should be given the same treatment.
“At the time of MacFarlane’s compassionate release in April, 2020, moreover, there was significant uncertainty about the virus and how to control it,” the Boston-based Gorton said.
“At this juncture, on the other hand, there has been substantial improvement in the treatment of the disease (and) the BOP itself has become much more proficient in controlling its spread and vaccines will soon alleviate remaining concerns.”
Giannulli is set to be released on April 17. Loughlin finished her two-month sentence last month.
The couple was convicted of crimes connected to a scheme that falsely passed off their daughters as elite crew team members, worthy of special admission to the University of Southern California.
The couple’s lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.