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College admissions scandal: Lori Loughlin released on $1M bond

The former "Full House" star acknowledged charges against her in federal court after surrendering to authorities Wednesday.
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LOS ANGELES — Actress Lori Loughlin was released on a $1 million bond Wednesday after appearing in federal court in Los Angeles in connection with her alleged role in a sweeping college admissions scandal.

The actress, best known for her role as Rebecca Donaldson Katsopolis on "Full House," was allowed to retain her passport for work on a current project in British Columbia. She will have to surrender the passport by Dec 1, 2019, unless she obtains a court order to let her keep it for legitimate work-related travel.

Loughlin, 54, is among dozens of defendants — including "Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman — accused of spending or laundering millions of dollars to falsify school records of high school students so they could be admitted to elite universities.

A federal judge ordered Loughlin, who surrendered herself earlier in the day, to appear in court again in Boston on March 29.

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to help their daughters get into the University of Southern California.

They gained special athletics admission to USC, after their parents passed them off as rowers — even though there's no evidence they ever picked up an oar, prosecutors said.

The couple's home was used to secure Louglin's $1 million bond.

Loughlin's older daughter, Isabella Rose Giannulli, had apparently scored admission to Arizona State University, but that wasn't good enough for her parents, authorities said.

"We just met with (our older daughter's) college counselor this am. I'd like to maybe sit with you after your session with the girls as I have some concerns and want to fully understand the game plan and make sure we have a roadmap for success as it relates to (our daughter) and getting her into a school other than ASU!" Giannulli wrote in an email to ringleader William Rick Singer, according to prosecutors.

Loughlin's younger daughter, YouTube star Olivia Jade Giannulli, made headlines this past August when the freshman said she's not a huge fan of going to classes.

“But I do want the experience of like game days, partying," she said in one of her YouTube clips. "I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”

She apologized two days later.

"I said something super ignorant and stupid, basically,'' she said. "And it totally came across that I’m not grateful for college — I’m going to a really nice school. And it just kind of made it seem like I don’t care, I just want to brush it off, I’m just gonna be successful at YouTube and not have to worry about school. ... I’m really disappointed in myself."

Blankstein and Santini reported from Los Angeles; and Madani and Li from New York.