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Lori Loughlin and Husband Claim Criminal Charges Are 'Baseless Accusations'

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By Daniel Goldblatt

Attorneys for Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli say the couple are "eager to clear their names" against "baseless accusations" in the ongoing college bribery case.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the law firm of Latham & Watkins is fighting to remain on the case after the government filed a motion saying the firm had a conflict of interest because they represent the University of Southern California in other unrelated cases.

The couple wants to keep the firm on the case, because they have represented Mossimo for two decades, want the same law firm to represent them.

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"Giannulli and Loughlin are innocent of the charges brought against them and eager to clear their names," the documents state. "And they believe their interests will be advanced most effectively by presenting a united front against the Government’s baseless accusations."

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The firm says they take their "ethical obligations seriously" and believes there is "no material risk of a potential conflict as a result of its joint representation of Giannulli and Loughlin."

They argue, "USC is not a party to this case, and its status as an alleged victim does not automatically trigger a conflict of interest requiring Latham’s withdrawal. Latham will avoid any direct adversity with USC by relying on co-counsel to handle any cross-examination of USC witnesses and any restitution proceeding in which USC’s financial interests are directly at stake."

The firm says they are still going over the 1.9 million documents the government turned over in discovery.

Giannulli has been a client of Latham & Watkins for more than two decades, explaining, "So when Giannulli and his wife, Lori Loughlin, learned that they faced federal criminal charges, they naturally turned to Latham — counsel they knew and trusted — to help them clear their names."

Both Loughlin and Giannulli filed declarations saying they are aware of Latham's ties to USC but it does not affect their decision to have the firm represent them in the case.

A judge has yet to rule.

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Loughlin and Giannulli entered not guilty pleas in April in federal court in Boston.

They face one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest-services mail and wire fraud, as well as one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The couple allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to college admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer to get their daughters — one of whom is YouTube star Olivia Jade (above) — admitted to USC as sham recruits for the crew team.

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Last month, Felicity Huffman, the other high-profile defendant in the case, entered a guilty plea to paying $15,000 to a fake charity that helped her daughter fake her SAT score for college.

Huffman previously released a statement announcing her intention to plead guilty, saying, "I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions."

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