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USC puts hold on accounts of students tied to admissions scandal

NBC News logo NBC News 3/19/2019 Minyvonne Burke
a woman posing for a picture: Image: Isabella Rose Giannulli, Olivia Giannulli © Earl Gibson III Image: Isabella Rose Giannulli, Olivia Giannulli

The University of Southern California on Monday said that it had taken action that prevents students who may be associated with an alleged admissions scheme from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the school said the students have been notified that their status is under review.

"Following the review, we will take the proper action related to their status, up to revoking admission or expulsion," the school said on Twitter.

The university did not disclose the number of students affected.

Actress Lori Loughlin, who was indicted in the federal case earlier this month, has two daughters at USC.

Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli attend the school.

Loughlin, who is best known for her role on the sitcom "Full House," and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are among 50 people charged in the $25 million college admissions scandal.

The alleged scam focused on getting students admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic abilities, and helping potential students cheat on their college exams, according to the indictment.

Federal prosecutors have accused Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, of agreeing to pay bribes totaling $500,000 to boost their daughters' chances of getting into USC.

Lori Loughlin holding a blue umbrella: Image: Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli © Donato Sardella Image: Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli

Court papers revealed that Loughlin allegedly told a cooperating witness that she would arrange for one of her daughters to be photographed on a rowing machine to bolster the false claim on the college application that her daughter was on a crew team.

In an email, the actress allegedly agreed to keep the scheme "hush hush." Loughlin was released on a $1 million bond Wednesday after surrendering to federal authorities.

The fallout from Loughlin's alleged involvement in the scheme was swift. The Hallmark Channel announced Thursday that it had fired the actress.

The backlash also quickly trickled down to her YouTube personality daughter, Olivia Jade — who was said to be on a top USC official's yacht in the Bahamas when federal authorities announced indictments in the scheme.

On Thursday, Sephora and TRESemmé announced that they had ended their partnerships with Olivia Jade. The 19-year-old worked with the beauty retailer Sephora as a paid influencer and released a bronzing powder palette with the company in December 2018.

"After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately," Sephora told NBC News in a statement.

Olivia Jade, who has 1.4 million Instagram followers, advertised TRESemmé's haircare products on her page after attending one of the company's events during New York Fashion Week last month.

In a statement Thursday, TRESemmé said it was "no longer working with" the influencer.


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