"The government is trying to benefit from withholding information in violation of its obligations and the defendants constitutional rights, but then force trial as quickly as it can," the defense attorneys said in the filing on Wednesday. "The government should not be rewarded, nor the defendants punished, for this kind of egregious lack of candor and violation of its obligations."
Attorneys for the couple allege the government withheld information found on the iPhone notes of
as part of the discovery process. The information was released less than 24 hours before the setting of the trial date and, they allege, exemplified how the government was "bullying" Singer into lying.
the mastermind behind the scam
to help wealthy students get admitted to college by cheating on the ACTs or SATs or bribing athletic officials to promote students with fake athletic profiles. Prosecutors allege Loughlin and Giannulli used such fake athletic profiles to get their daughters into the University of Southern California.
Both are facing charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Both have pleaded not guilty
'They continue to ask me to tell a fib'
Their attorneys point specifically to Singer's notes from October 2018 after he agreed to cooperate with federal agents that describe a "loud and abrasive call with agents" who asked him to tell a "fib," the notes said.
"They continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where their money was going
-- to the program not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment," the highly redacted notes in Singer's phone accompanying the motion said.
Singer made 20 calls to clients from October 23 to 27 under the direction of law enforcement telling clients there was an IRS audit and that he would tell the IRS their money went to a charitable donation instead of to cheating or bribery, according to a criminal complaint. No such audits existed, and the calls were used to confirm that the clients were aware of the scam.
These messages in Singer's phone were initially believed to be privileged notes to the government and they were not released to the defendants until another review of the information determined the information was not privileged. The notes were then released to all parties, according to the court documents.
Included in the filing is a letter from the government which says Singer's attorney waived privileged over the notes, allowing the information to be released.
The government should have notified the defendants no later than 30-days after the indictment was filed of the information it had, the motion alleges.
The filing also suggests other motions may be filed including motions to dismiss indictment, motions to suppress evidence, and motions for sanctions.
A legitimate approach
Last month, Loughlin, Giannulli and other defendants in the scam who have pleaded not guilty argued that
the government withheld evidence
that multiple uncharged USC officials were aware of the scam. The couple, they argued, engaged in a legitimate practice in which universities "regularly solicit donations from the families of prospective students" that can impact the students' chances of admission.
As a part of its motion, the government released dozens of heavily redacted emails, documents and call transcripts to support its position -- many of which include exchanges between Giannulli, Loughlin, and scam mastermind
Singer and his associates.
Prosecutors say while the government had not interviewed any current or former USC employees who knew the extent of Singer's scam as a quid pro quo, the documents show the couple themselves had specifically rejected the "legitimate" approach they had outlined in their own defense as a part of Singer's scam.