The Hallmark Channel’s Lori Laughlin’s College Admission Defense: Who Knew?

A friend of Lori Laughlin and her designer husband told ET (Entertainment Tonight, not the Spielberg character (the Barometer checked because, well, with this story being so over the top that it is hard to believe 90% of it all, so ET could well be an ace Hollywood celebrity scoop reporter)), “[Lori and her husband] claim they were under the impression they might be breaking rules, but not laws.They feel they were manipulated by those involved and are planning that as part of their defense.” Okay, so, if the Barometer has this straight, a grifter in a jogging suit with coaching connections convinced you that photoshopping your daughter’s picture on another athlete’s body and getting her admitted to USC as a crew athlete when she cannot row, row, row her boat was not a problem? What could possibly go wrong with this scheme?

Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Lack of intent is, however, a defense, and saying that you knew you were breaking rules may just provide prosecutors with that element. One never knows if the spokespersons have things straight, but if this one did: Find a new spokesperson.

One piece of additional piece of advice: When you are in a hole, stop digging.

The charges against Ms. Loughlin and her husband carry the additional issues of the money and laundering and then the tax deduction for the charity that got the funds (the grifter’s charity). The guilty pleas other parents took may not be the best option for this couple, but in criminal cases, contrition plays a role in everything from juror perception to sentences. One senses that the Hallmark nactress’s heart has not yet heard the call.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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