Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, right, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on Aug. 27, 2019.
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
As Lori Loughlin gets ready for her upcoming trail in the college admissions scandal, she has reportedly hired a prison consultant who’s teaching her martial arts to prepare for a possible prison sentence, in a move other experts in the industry have called “ridiculous” and “absurd.”
Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty in the college admission scandal case, in which they’re accused of paying the scheme’s ringleader, William “Rick” Singer, $500,000 to guarantee their daughters’ admissions to the University of Southern California as coxswain recruits for the school’s crew team.
Radar Online reported in December that Loughlin has hired a consultant to teach her prison slang and martial arts ahead of her trial.
But Insider spoke to two prison consultants who criticized the advice Loughlin was receiving.
Justin Paperny, who served 18 months in prison for a felony security laws conviction, is the founder of White Collar Advice, which advises people facing federal prison sentences for non-violent and financial crimes, said of the martial arts training: “It’s so ridiculous. It’s absurd.”
Michael Frantz, who served 36 months in prison, is the founder of Jail Time Consulting, which provides services to defendants facing incarceration. He agreed with Paperny, saying Loughlin’s consultant “doesn’t know a thing about federal prison.”
“Martha Stewart didn’t take martial arts. She wasn’t bullied by the inmates,” Frantz told Insider. “Why is [Loughlin] taking martial arts? Who came up with that idea? To show how tough she is? Please, be serious.”
If Loughlin does go to prison, she’ll likely be incarcerated at a minimum-security camp, the lowest security facility available in the prison system. The institutions are designed for offenders who don’t pose a risk of violence.
“There’s as much violence in a minimum-security camp as there is in your local donut shop,” Paperny told Insider. “If you act like a fool in the local donut shop, you’re going to get punched. No different than prisons.”
He said there’s very little violence overall, especially compared to higher security prison facilities.
“That’s all sensationalized because it makes good headlines,” he said. “It attracts attention. It’s not realistic. It’s not what happens on the inside.”
Frantz and Paperny said that should Loughlin go to prison, she would be better off learning prison etiquette and information about how the facility works, from meal times to the commissary. Paperny also said it helps to find a routine while incarcerated and to focus on the positives.
Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to three charges in the college admissions scandal, including bribery, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
If they’re convicted, they face up to 50 years in prison for the crimes, but the sentence would likely be much lower.
“Theoretically she could get 40, 45 years, but that’s not gonna happen,” Frantz said of the possible sentencing. “You know that. I know that. The judge knows that. Everyone knows that. That’s just not gonna happen. She couldn’t get 18 months. She could get 24 months.”