Not so off topic: USC athletics will be Lori Laughlin's defense

4,041 Views | 56 Replies | Last: 9 mo ago by Cal84
hanky1
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bearup said:

hanky1 said:

Exactly what law did she break by bribing her kids way into USC? I don't get it.
Does the reason you "don't get it" have anything to do with what you....supposedly....did at UCLA.
I depend on your posts for a little humor once in a while (seriously)...and you're beginning to fail miserably. Maybe you should take that refresher class in Stand-Up you've been thinking about.



hanky1
5:35p, 1/5/20


You can get away with alot more at UCLA I suspect than you can at Cal.

I use to be a graduate student at UCLA. I tutored members of their basketball team on writing as a side job. I use to write essays and stories for their team for classes and everyone knew it and no one cared.

One time, I wrote an essay for a lady on the team about her grandmother dying. I complete fake story but she got so emotional that she started crying as if her grandmother actually died.


Yes it's 100% true. I worked in the UCLA AD for 2.5 years. I still have many friends there and they give me UCLA scoop.

Here's another funny story: I left my books on my desk and came back to retrieve it one late night around midnight. I noticed Coach Neuheisel's light on in his office so I swung by to see what was up. He was still in his office with all the TVs on and he was watching....

...The Bachelor. This was the Thursday before a big game. Cracked me up that he was watching The Bachelor.

Please don't tell Okaydo this. He may wet himself if he finds out.
hanky1
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wifeisafurd said:

OaktownBear said:

hanky1 said:

I'm not even trying to troll or be funny. Seriously what's the big deal? Supposing she donated her money legally and treated it legally from a tax perspective...what's the big deal?

Rich people have been paying for access since money was first invented. So she made up some rowing pictures. Big deal. I'm more amazed that rowing actually helps you get into college (which is laughable) than that someone would make up fake rowing stories.
1. They didn't donate their money. They paid off individuals. If a school wants to sell a slot because in their opinion having a new library is better than having one more smart student, that is their business. It is their slot to sell and they can determine what size donation benefits the rest of the student body enough to be worth it. In that case at least the students who are accepted benefit. Bribing individuals provides no benefit to anyone but that individual.

2. There are lots of legal schemes with which to part someone from their money. That doesn't mean straight theft is okay.

3. For a lot of history rich people were able to get away with murder. (literally). Slavery. Rape. Lots of awful things. That doesn't mean we should perpetuate it.
All this is correct and let me embellish.

Wealthy families often donate to colleges with the hope, or expectation, that it'll get their kids a leg up in the admissions process. The recent affirmative action trial involving Harvard made this all to apparent, but that still didn't help Asian students, since Harvard won the case. Bottom line is the preference exists, and no one can do anything about it apparently with respect to private schools. This doesn't even get into the legacy preference at Ivy schools, which have an even far more dramatic impact on admissions (which btw, the courts also blessed).

But what is different about the alleged bribery scheme here is that it was much more explicit exchange of holding a recruitment spot for a student in exchange for a set amount of money paid to school individuals without (allegedly) the knowledge of the school. Singer promised to secure admission to USC for the daughters as recruits for the university's crew team, even though neither participated in the sport, Singer arranged fake athletic profiles for the girls, and the feds say Loughlin and Giannulli sent pictures of their daughters using ergometers. Rather than writing a donation check to USC, the Feds allege they had to send $200,000 to Singer through the a non-profit he controlled, for each daughter, plus $50,000 per kid to USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel. The Feds allege the checks were directly to Heinel, not USC, which is in dispute apparently. Heinel admitted that she (not USC) pocketed the money. Moreover, the Feds allege that both daughters were presented to USC in their college applications as a Coxswain on the LA Marina Club Team. That goes way beyond simply donating money and expecting some preference to your child's application. This is fabrication and deceit.

So back to Hanky's original question, if they didn't do anything illegal what is the problem? What must be assumed is that they did this the old fashioned way and wrote donation with the expectation that would be a criteria in getting the daughters accepted. That is a different factual scenario then in the present case. But let's say they did this.

When the US Department of Education investigated Harvard's admissions practices in the 1990s, it concluded there was no legal reason that the school couldn't favor wealthy and legacy students who may bring in more donations. Private schools need a large endowment to compete for top faculty, facilities, etc. This led to snarky remarks (many made by me and others on this forum) about USC, the Ivies and Furd when Varsity Blues came out, given the existing undercurrent that too much of society is rigged for the benefit of the rich and privileged in what is supposed to be a meritocracy. But I'm assuming Hanky's point is that this has never been a meritocracy, so what is the problem? Admission preferences have been happening forever, as have other preferences as pointed out by Oak. In fact, our founding fathers were the wealthiest folks in the colonies for the most part. So I guess it depends on your perspective. Here is an article with the arguments for the issue of legacy preference, and the same arguments for the most part apply to donation preferences as well. Should Legacy Admissions Be Allowed? A Debate via @forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardvedder/2018/10/15/should-schools-be-allowed-to-have-legacy-admissions-a-debate/#2160faea1f5b. Also note Oak's points 2 and 3. I guess the debate can go on, but it simply doesn't reflect the facts being presented in the Laughlin case, as Oak so astutely notes in his first point.






I suppose I'll start worrying about this when my kids are old enough to apply for college but the college obsession is just completely getting out of hand.
Callisto
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hanky1 said:

bearup said:

hanky1 said:

Exactly what law did she break by bribing her kids way into USC? I don't get it.
Does the reason you "don't get it" have anything to do with what you....supposedly....did at UCLA.
I depend on your posts for a little humor once in a while (seriously)...and you're beginning to fail miserably. Maybe you should take that refresher class in Stand-Up you've been thinking about.



hanky1
5:35p, 1/5/20


You can get away with alot more at UCLA I suspect than you can at Cal.

I use to be a graduate student at UCLA. I tutored members of their basketball team on writing as a side job. I use to write essays and stories for their team for classes and everyone knew it and no one cared.

One time, I wrote an essay for a lady on the team about her grandmother dying. I complete fake story but she got so emotional that she started crying as if her grandmother actually died.


Yes it's 100% true. I worked in the UCLA AD for 2.5 years. I still have many friends there and they give me UCLA scoop.

Here's another funny story: I left my books on my desk and came back to retrieve it one late night around midnight. I noticed Coach Neuheisel's light on in his office so I swung by to see what was up. He was still in his office with all the TVs on and he was watching....

...The Bachelor. This was the Thursday before a big game. Cracked me up that he was watching The Bachelor.

Please don't tell Okaydo this. He may wet himself if he finds out.
Chances are he already wet himself over something else. If not, this will certainly do it.
Marty
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Timely topic in light of LSU just winning the NC with former USC coach Ed Orgeron in charge. I've been a Cal fan for 50 years, since I was in kindergarten. For those of you who've been rooting for Cal for any length of time, you can feel my pain when it comes to all things USC as they relate to Cal. Unlike so many in the media, who bemoan USC's fall from prominence, I couldn't be happier. I'm a Cal fan, and have put up with the ****ty calls that always seem to favor USC, their cheating (Pete the Cheat and Reggie Bush costing us the Rose Bowl) and running up the score in our bad years, and of course, their arrogance. Now, they find themselves beset with scandal and on-the-field mediocrity for the first time in forever.

Why is Orgeron celebrating in New Orleans? Because the Trojans blew their chance to hire him, going instead for Steve "I'll have a double" Sarkissian. Totally blew that, as all they had to do was some cursory checking with the UW football community and they'd have learned about his drinking and affairs with cheerleaders and ESPN correspondents. Or maybe they did, and didn't care. Wouldn't surprise me at all. Then they brought in Kiffin and Helton. Garrett, Haden, and Swann were all arrogant jerks who were in way over their heads, and made one bad decision after another. Remember Haden going onto the field at Stanford to berate the refs during the game? I'm halfway surprised they didn't hire OJ, since he's out now and has the time.

And finally, the admissions scandal. To quote Obi Wan, it exposed a "wretched hive of scum and villainy." The whole thing is a product of the hubris and superiority complex which pervades USC. Each one of these issues, which collectively add up to a hugely embarrassing pattern of institutional corruption, had their origins within USC, and they have nobody but themselves to blame. I love it.
wifeisafurd
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hanky1 said:

wifeisafurd said:

OaktownBear said:

hanky1 said:

I'm not even trying to troll or be funny. Seriously what's the big deal? Supposing she donated her money legally and treated it legally from a tax perspective...what's the big deal?

Rich people have been paying for access since money was first invented. So she made up some rowing pictures. Big deal. I'm more amazed that rowing actually helps you get into college (which is laughable) than that someone would make up fake rowing stories.
1. They didn't donate their money. They paid off individuals. If a school wants to sell a slot because in their opinion having a new library is better than having one more smart student, that is their business. It is their slot to sell and they can determine what size donation benefits the rest of the student body enough to be worth it. In that case at least the students who are accepted benefit. Bribing individuals provides no benefit to anyone but that individual.

2. There are lots of legal schemes with which to part someone from their money. That doesn't mean straight theft is okay.

3. For a lot of history rich people were able to get away with murder. (literally). Slavery. Rape. Lots of awful things. That doesn't mean we should perpetuate it.
All this is correct and let me embellish.

Wealthy families often donate to colleges with the hope, or expectation, that it'll get their kids a leg up in the admissions process. The recent affirmative action trial involving Harvard made this all to apparent, but that still didn't help Asian students, since Harvard won the case. Bottom line is the preference exists, and no one can do anything about it apparently with respect to private schools. This doesn't even get into the legacy preference at Ivy schools, which have an even far more dramatic impact on admissions (which btw, the courts also blessed).

But what is different about the alleged bribery scheme here is that it was much more explicit exchange of holding a recruitment spot for a student in exchange for a set amount of money paid to school individuals without (allegedly) the knowledge of the school. Singer promised to secure admission to USC for the daughters as recruits for the university's crew team, even though neither participated in the sport, Singer arranged fake athletic profiles for the girls, and the feds say Loughlin and Giannulli sent pictures of their daughters using ergometers. Rather than writing a donation check to USC, the Feds allege they had to send $200,000 to Singer through the a non-profit he controlled, for each daughter, plus $50,000 per kid to USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel. The Feds allege the checks were directly to Heinel, not USC, which is in dispute apparently. Heinel admitted that she (not USC) pocketed the money. Moreover, the Feds allege that both daughters were presented to USC in their college applications as a Coxswain on the LA Marina Club Team. That goes way beyond simply donating money and expecting some preference to your child's application. This is fabrication and deceit.

So back to Hanky's original question, if they didn't do anything illegal what is the problem? What must be assumed is that they did this the old fashioned way and wrote donation with the expectation that would be a criteria in getting the daughters accepted. That is a different factual scenario then in the present case. But let's say they did this.

When the US Department of Education investigated Harvard's admissions practices in the 1990s, it concluded there was no legal reason that the school couldn't favor wealthy and legacy students who may bring in more donations. Private schools need a large endowment to compete for top faculty, facilities, etc. This led to snarky remarks (many made by me and others on this forum) about USC, the Ivies and Furd when Varsity Blues came out, given the existing undercurrent that too much of society is rigged for the benefit of the rich and privileged in what is supposed to be a meritocracy. But I'm assuming Hanky's point is that this has never been a meritocracy, so what is the problem? Admission preferences have been happening forever, as have other preferences as pointed out by Oak. In fact, our founding fathers were the wealthiest folks in the colonies for the most part. So I guess it depends on your perspective. Here is an article with the arguments for the issue of legacy preference, and the same arguments for the most part apply to donation preferences as well. Should Legacy Admissions Be Allowed? A Debate via @forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardvedder/2018/10/15/should-schools-be-allowed-to-have-legacy-admissions-a-debate/#2160faea1f5b. Also note Oak's points 2 and 3. I guess the debate can go on, but it simply doesn't reflect the facts being presented in the Laughlin case, as Oak so astutely notes in his first point.






I suppose I'll start worrying about this when my kids are old enough to apply for college but the college obsession is just completely getting out of hand.
Certainly agree to that last post
bearup
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Bear19 said:

hanky1 said:

Exactly what law did she break by bribing her kids way into USC? I don't get it.
hank1, This gets an aggregate score of 1.7 out of 6 for an attempt to troll a reaction.

Only the Bulgarian judge saved you by giving you a score of 4.8.

Bear19,

I had other things on my mind (yeah, that sounds good) my first time through
this very educational thread.....and basically didn't pay proper attention.

BUT

I nominate your post for Funniest Post of the Decade (FudPOD).
LMK5
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The government keeps piling on charges in an attempt to get the Loughlins to plea bargain. Why would they do this if they were confident in the solidity of their case?
maxer
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BearGoggles said:

wifeisafurd said:





I see where you are going. You are ignoring the monthly money to the counselor (who has pled and I assume will testify) to be used for bribes. But you make good points why this is not a slam dunk. There article is not a complete or good discussion of the facts so let me give it a shot, as I understand it (it gets reported on a lot here in LA).

Not in the article, but in the complaint, is the allegation of wiretaps with Singer, where Singer is explaining to the defendants how the schema worked. The folks that got busted were late to the game after Singer had turned and was wire tapping clients as part of his deal. Perhaps the defense lawyers will argue entrapment to get the tapes removed? Also, Laurie and Massimo didn't start this - they heard about Singer from someone who will testify. I assume Singer will also testify.

There also is an evidentiary problem. The couple's attorneys say they need "any statements by Singer as to what he precisely told his clients" about the use of their funds. They also say they need "statements detailing what USC knew of Singer's operation, arguing that if they did know about the operation but accepted money anyway then the university was not bribed or defrauded." This is the problem that SC faces, and would be huge problem for the prosecution, that is not really brought out well in the article (though I tried to point out same in my intro). The big "but" so far may be the lack of evidence. Prosecutors turned over more than 3 million pages of emails, wiretaps and other evidence to defense attorneys. But at a court hearing in June, defense attorneys flagged how the government had not released FBI interviews with parents not charged in the case and interviews with SC. They demanded that evidence be turned over arguing their entire defense turned on finding that SC knew about the "bribes" in that evidence, and really treated them as essentially donations in exchange for the kids being admitted. They argued that this evidence existed in the transcripts of the interviews. My guess, is this also is why SC not releasing the results of its inquiry is a huge gripe of the defense attorneys (note TMZ is a shrill for the celeb's defense attorneys). The Judge refused, calling it a fishing expedition. So somehow the defense is going to have get USC to admit in testimony they knew and participated in this process or find some other evidence to rebut the other evidence. Stay tuned.....

This case is venued back east. Now if it was LA, there is no doubt in my mind the celeb parents are found not guilty. LA juries never convict celebs unless their weird, like Phil Spector.
Since the original story broke, I haven't really followed the details. So I defer to your knowledge, but doesn't the fact that they paid Singer directly actually help the defendants? They could argue: (i) we paid money - lots of money - to singer to help us, but didn't know what he did with it (bribe Heinel); (ii) we knew Singer had connections, but that's not illegal; (iii) Singer told us a donation to USC would be helpful to admission, so we made it (again not illegal); and (iv) we had already paid Singer separately, the donation to Singer's "charity" was on top of that and something we wanted to do (a stretch).

Regarding the wiretaps, as I recall those were made AFTER Singer began cooperating. So he was calling after the fact and "confirming" what happened. It will be interesting to see to what extent the defendants actually made incriminating statements (as opposed to agreeing with what Singer was saying). I think a jury will view that with suspicion.

Regarding your separate post on the tax charges, I don't think those are being held back as the final hammer. The defendants can serve 45-50 years based on the existing charges - according to Forbes and NPR. I don't think the tax charges are more severe than that. If the feds add those late, it will be a sign of weakness in their case IMO.


Without getting into the rest of the argument, the tax charges are not a sign of the weakness of the case. This is what prosecutors do -- they charge people with everything possible, to scare them with multi-decade prison time and induce them to make a more reasonable deal.

Not right, but that's the way it works (at both the federal and local level).
LMK5
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It will be interesting to see how it all plays out in court. The Loughlins' lawyers must have a damn good case if they were able to convince their clients to take it to trial.
maxer
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LMK5 said:

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out in court. The Loughlins' lawyers must have a damn good case if they were able to convince their clients to take it to trial.
I'm sure it was the opposite - the lawyers begged them to take the relatively lenient deal on offer, and the Laughlins refused.
socaliganbear
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BearSD
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LMK5 said:

The government keeps piling on charges in an attempt to get the Loughlins to plea bargain. Why would they do this if they were confident in the solidity of their case?
That sounds like the argument of some public relations firm hired by Loughlin.

Any large prosecutor's office has thousands of cases against thousands of defendants, and doesn't have an unlimited number of attorneys to take all of those cases to trial, nor do the courts have enough judges to hold a trial for every single charge filed by a prosecutor's office. That's why the vast majority of cases are settled, or "plea bargained" before going to trial.

wifeisafurd
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LMK5 said:

The government keeps piling on charges in an attempt to get the Loughlins to plea bargain. Why would they do this if they were confident in the solidity of their case?
They could lose, eve if the risk of same is perceived as low. Just because USC may say they didn't know and sanction this doesn't mean they didn't, I which case the conduct of Singer and the defendants may not be legally a bribe.

They may be comfortable with their case, but want to reach a settlement for all the reasons prosecutors settle:

1) Don't have to use valuable resources in a long trial (this is the primary one, as long as they prosecutes think they are getting a fair sentence from the defendants). Also see number 3.
2) Could get a weird celebrity loving jurors that hang the trial.
3) If the turn them, they will get information on who they referred to Singer for future indictments
4) If Laughlin and her husband get hammered at sentencing, pubic sentiment could change and the prosecuters could be viewed as piling on and overcharging, which could hurt future cases.
wifeisafurd
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socaliganbear said:


any reason given?
wifeisafurd
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maxer said:

LMK5 said:

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out in court. The Loughlins' lawyers must have a damn good case if they were able to convince their clients to take it to trial.
I'm sure it was the opposite - the lawyers begged them to take the relatively lenient deal on offer, and the Laughlins refused.
Look art Huffman, she got essentially no jail time, not huge legal bills and better PR. My guess is this is a problem with client control.
01Bear
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wifeisafurd said:

socaliganbear said:


any reason given?

Pure speculation, but I'm going with scapegoating and CYA. Make it look like the taint was only tie to those three and not to USC as a whole nor its culture.
Oski87
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wifeisafurd said:

maxer said:

LMK5 said:

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out in court. The Loughlins' lawyers must have a damn good case if they were able to convince their clients to take it to trial.
I'm sure it was the opposite - the lawyers begged them to take the relatively lenient deal on offer, and the Laughlins refused.
Look art Huffman, she got essentially no jail time, not huge legal bills and better PR. My guess is this is a problem with client control.
the scope of the crime was different - cheating on one SAT test for one kid (declined on the second) for 15K or creating an entirely fraudulent application and giving half a million...

That was discussed in the media as one of the reasons why they targeted them so much as a prosecution. It seems like this was going to be the big showdown.

I wonder if this turns out like most of the other show trials recently - Bonds, etc, where the federal overreach is thwarted by the jury.
Fyght4Cal
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BREAKING: The USC AD stinks of corruption.



https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-01-15/admissions-scandal-usc-lori-loughlin-daughter-athlete-heinel
🎵There‚Äôs the Highland Dutch and the Lowland Dutch
The Rotterdam Dutch and Tim DeRuyter 🎶
wifeisafurd
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Oski87 said:

wifeisafurd said:

maxer said:

LMK5 said:

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out in court. The Loughlins' lawyers must have a damn good case if they were able to convince their clients to take it to trial.
I'm sure it was the opposite - the lawyers begged them to take the relatively lenient deal on offer, and the Laughlins refused.
Look art Huffman, she got essentially no jail time, not huge legal bills and better PR. My guess is this is a problem with client control.
the scope of the crime was different - cheating on one SAT test for one kid (declined on the second) for 15K or creating an entirely fraudulent application and giving half a million...

That was discussed in the media as one of the reasons why they targeted them so much as a prosecution. It seems like this was going to be the big showdown.

I wonder if this turns out like most of the other show trials recently - Bonds, etc, where the federal overreach is thwarted by the jury.
paragraph 1: Valid point with a proviso. Almost of those who didn't plead yet are from the bribe, not SAT fraud side. Some have plead and got stiffer sentences, bu not all. Robrert Flaxman paid to get his son into Univ. of San Diego and to improve his daughter's test scores (he did both). He plead early and got 1 month in prison. Huneese did both. plead later, and got 5 months. Davina and Bruce Isascson , both, prosecutors asking for low range on charges. Todd McFarlance more recently pleading for bribing two children into USC got 6 months, Stephen Semprevino, bribing child into Georgetown (4 months), Devin Sloane, bribing child into SC (4 months), Jeff Bizzack bribe to SC ( 4 months), also pleading somewhat closer to the indictments. Henriquez parents (Georgetown tennis) and Hodge parents (USC water polo) pleaded guilty recently to both The Henriquezes and , Hodge, financier who know each other, are likely to face heavier sentences because they pleaded guilty to two counts, and pleaded more recently, but are cooperating and therefore have not had preliminary sentencing. Hodge Ex- Stanford sailing coach, two separate bribes (1 day) (he pleaded early and with sympathetic circumstances), Ex USC soccer coach (low end of sentencing recommended), Ex- Texas Tennis Coach (plead guilty and is cooperating - no sentencing prelim with court yet). Why go through this list? Those who did both get a slightly higher sentence, those that just bribed got less sentence, than those who did both and those that got the biggest breaks settled early and cooperated. This is very typical of how the Feds settle cases. The other thing is the sentencing was not that much higher for those that came forward early on bribe cases than simply SAT cases.

paragraph 2: sure, that is part of litigation negotiations

paragraph 3: don't know. Would be in LA for celebs and prosecuting Bonds in SF could not have been easy. Note he was convicted of one of two types of changes (not guilty on perjury and guilty on obstruction of justice) for which he was fined and no jail time. The conviction was initially upheld by a three judge (9th Circuit) panel, but a larger panel of the court (en band) voted 10-1 to overturn the conviction technical grounds. The case against Bonds was a stretch from a legal standpoint, and probably would not have been brought if it wasn't Bonds. I'm not as convinced that is the case with Varsity Blue defendants given wire tapes, if admissible, and the jury pool differences.
Bear19
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Looking forward to the cable series "Full House Vixen Actresses in Chains"
bearup
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Bear19 said:

Looking forward to the cable series "Full House Vixen Actresses in Chains"
Also a great idea for a thread over on OT.
Cal84
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LMK5 said:

The government keeps piling on charges in an attempt to get the Loughlins to plea bargain. Why would they do this if they were confident in the solidity of their case?
Even if the case is solid, juries can be unpredictable. Particularly in celebrity cases. Getting the Loughlins to plea also puts pressure on the remaining indicted holdouts.

Given today's additional release of email data, the gov's case looks pretty good. But like I said, nothing is for certain once you close those doors and the jury is left to on their own.
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