Having practiced criminal defense for 25 years, I am often asked about high profile cases. While they are often treated differently than more average cases, the general public can learn a lot from these types of cases. The current federal case of the United States v. Lori Loughlin is one such example.
The case pending involves allegedly paying bribes in order to obtain admission for the children into various universities. My initial take is that there is a great amount of pressure to plead guilty, which is generally the case with all criminal charges. I believe that Lori Loughlin and most of the others DO have a valid defense. The federal bribery statute prohibits corruptly giving, offering, or promising anything of value to a federal public official or appointee with the intent of influencing him or her to perform an official act or to commit fraud. . It seems to be a stretch that these universities qualify as a federal agency or official. Moreover, the bribes were not paid to the university but to an agent which the stars hired to assist with admission. It may also be interesting defense tactic to determine what is a legitimate gift to the university v. bribe, and can your child receive preferential treatment because of a gift?
The most current development regards the additional charges which the government has brought since they refused to plead guilty. THIS IS A COMMON TACTIC utilized by many prosecutors to force a plea and to punish those who wish to exercise their constitutional rights. Prosecutors ARE bullies. If they are out to protect the public, and they believe that this is a valid additional charge, then all of the defendants should have faced the same charges. The reality is that they are trying to unduly punish those that exercise their right to trial.
If you are a defendant in a criminal case, hire an experienced defense attorney who can advise you throughout the process. Do not assume that the prosecutor is purely interested in justice – they want a guilty verdict. If you are not guilty, the trial tactics are just that and stand up for your rights! For consultation and representation in Kentucky and Ohio, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-MIKE, that is 859-581-6453 or email [email protected].