Executive who steered actress Lori Loughlin to US college scam mastermind sent to prison

BOSTON (REUTERS) – A private equity firm founder and onetime insurance executive who referred Full House star Lori Loughlin and her husband to the mastermind behind the US college admissions scandal was sentenced on Thursday (May 27) to two months in prison and fined US$250,000 (S$330,000) for his role in the scheme.

Mark Hauser, 60, was sentenced by US District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Boston after pleading guilty in August to participating in the vast college admissions fraud scheme by paying US$40,000 to rig his daughter’s ACT college entrance exam.

Hauser burst into tears as he apologised for his “serious mistake” and crimes that he said he engaged in to help a daughter who had faced “never-ending medical challenges.”

“I was not trying to establish prestige for myself or my daughter,” he said. “My only concern was to help her catch her breath.”

Hauser’s lawyers argued for probation. But Woodlock said Hauser deserved prison and the US$250,000 fine so the public could be assured that “nobody is free from the harshest aspects of the law.”

Hauser is one of 57 people charged in the scandal, in which prosecutors said parents conspired with California college admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer to secure their children’s college admissions through fraud and bribery.

The parents include Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, who admitted to trying to secure spots for their daughters at the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits.

Prosecutors said Hauser referred Giannulli to Singer.

Loughlin and Giannulli were sentenced last year to two months and five months in prison, respectively.

Hauser founded Cincinnati, Ohio-based Hauser Private Equity and owned the insurance firm Hauser. In August, Brown & Brown pulled out of a US$187 million deal to buy the insurer after Hauser’s case became public.

Prosecutors said Hauser in 2016 agreed to pay Singer US$40,000 to have an associate proctor his daughter’s ACT exam at a test centre in Texas that Singer controlled through bribery and secretly correct her answers.

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