Things That Matter

Judge Approves Lori Loughlin’s Request For A Cushy, Low-Security Prison

Update: September 17, 2020

Lori Loughlin has arguably become the face for the whole college admission scandal that rocked the nation. The pre-Covid scandal saw parents, faculty members, and the facilitator of the scam arrested and fined for their involvement. Now, Loughlin is serving a two-month sentence at a low-security prison.

Lori Loughlin is getting ready to spend her two-month sentence at a low-security prison near her California home.

After a long legal battle, actress Lori Loughlin is going to serve her two-month sentence at a federal prison close to her California home. The federal correctional institute in Victorville is a low-security facility that offers the 300 inmates more than you might expect. According to the prison handbook, inmates can participate in yoga, pilates, and origami while serving time. Inmates are also able to take music lessons and learn how to play the saxophone, accordion, or ukelele.

Loughlin, who was sentence on August 21, will also have to pay a $150,000 fine and a $100 assessment. She will also have to complete 100 hours of community service. Loughlin will have to make a lump sum payment on the fine within 60 days of her sentencing.

“I made an awful decision,” Loughlin said during the Zoom hearing. “I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process and in doing so I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass. I have great faith in God, and I believe in redemption and I will do everything in my power to redeem myself and use this experience as a catalyst to do good.”

Update May 21, 2020, 11:19 a.m. PST: Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded guilty to the college admission scandal that has resulted in numerous arrests and fines. Loughlin has been charged in the scandal after paying $500,000 to get her daughters, one is aspiring social media influencer Olivia Jade, into the University of Southern California (USC).

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli pleaded guilty for their part in the college admissions scandal and struck a plea deal.

After a year of claiming to be not guilty of the crimes, Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty for severely reduced sentences. Originally facing decades in prison, Loughlin is now facing two months in prison while her husband faces five months. The couple was hoping for expedited sentencing to put everything behind them but the judge dismissed the request. Sentencing is expected to happen on August 21.

Loughlin pleaded guilty to committing wire and mail fraud for her part in the admissions scandal. Giannulli pleaded guilty to committing wire and mail fraud as well as honest services wire and mail fraud.

The judge presiding over the case said he cannot accept their plea deals until seeing their records from the Massachusetts Probation Services.

The plea deal is highlighting the racial disparities in the legal system when it comes to the education of black and white kids.

Black and brown kids are often disadvantaged when it comes to their education. Funding for schools in Black and brown communities is always below the need and the children are the ones who suffer. The college admissions scandal reignited the debate around the in which some children are left behind in the educational system.

Felicity Huffman, another actress in the scandal, pleaded guilty at the beginning of the case and served her sentence. Huffman spent 14 days in prison for her part in the college admissions scandal.

Update: If only she’d just been honest, Lori Loughlin could have had a better start to the new decade. Instead, the former actress of “Full House” and its spinoff “Fuller House” is jumping into 2020 with an uncertain future and a trove of legal issues. For her involvement in the nationwide college admission scandal, Laughlin has plead not guilty and now faces up to 50 years in prison. Meanwhile, actress Felicity Huffman, who pled guilty to federal charges in May served her 14-day seance in prison and paid a $40,000 fine. In fact, the actress was released two days early when she served her time.

Now federal prosecutors seem to be making an example out of Loughlin for her part in the scandal and unwillingness to plead guilty. 

Today it was announced that federal prosecutor have accused the actress of withholding evidence in the college admissions scam case. This is despite previous requests by to turn it in.

CNN reports “the new charge accuses Loughlin and Giannulli of bribing University of Southern California employees to get their daughters admitted. USC coaches and athletics officials allegedly designated the daughters as recruited athletes, easing their admission regardless of their athletic ability, prosecutors said.”

According to reports Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli,  paid $500,000 to have their daughters pose as University of Southern California athletes so that they could get into USC. They have also been accused of bribing employees at the university to gain entrance for their daughters. Despite the severity of the charges, the couple pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and bribery.

In a court filing Friday, federal prosecutors say a majority of parents haven’t submitted their discovery materials.

According to a joint status report filed Friday, Loughlin and her husband have not provided any discovery material to the government. The term discovery material refers to information and evidence that both sides of the case share with each other prior to trial.

“The government disagrees with the defendants’ assertion that it is premature to provide their own discovery,” the filing states according to CNN. “The government contends that it has complied with its discovery obligations and continues to comply with them.”

The latest arrest of Academy Award nominee Felicity Huffman and actress Lori Loughlin, best known for her role as Aunt Becky on “Full House” are proof of the fact that POC have a right to affirmative action. Loughlin was revealed to be part of a college cheating scam back in January. The scandal gave  kids an unfair advantage that garnered them access to some of the country’s top universities, including Yale and Stanford. This is all despite the fact that the children of these two women, as well as those of over 30 other celebrities and CEOs, were already riding on an enormous wave of white privilege that gives so many white students a leg up in the college application process each year.

Never fear fellow Latinos and POC. While most of our parents might not currently be able to fork over a load of cash to pay and have someone else beef up our SAT exam scores, there are ways to beat the system. And that’s purely on smarts and know-how. Just how abuela would want you to do.

If you’ve already completed your college applications and you met all the deadlines, know that there are several things that you can do to improve your application post-submission. There are also cosas que puede hacer that are just for you because this is a time when you also need to practice some self-care and to remember that you are worthy.

1. Get back to taking care of yourself

Now that your applications are in and you’re not multi-tasking ad nauseam, you should take care of your mental health. Get back to sleeping seven to eight hours a night and cut back on junk food. Get back to making and eating actual meals when hungry rather than snacking on empty calories. Get back to your exercise routine, quit staying up too late, and research some mindful techniques to help you through the stressful waiting period.

2. Start researching scholarships

There are scholarships for everything and everyone. Scholarships for first-generation college students, Dreamers, musicians, people who wear glasses, and on, and on. This McDonald’s Scholarship is seeking to give money to Latino students. The due date is February 4! Looking for other kinds of scholarships? Check out this directory.

3. Double-check letters of recommendation

Most colleges are using online tools to collect your application and recommendation letters, and most colleges will not turn you away for a late letter. Go to all sites and confirm that all your letters of recommendation have been turned in. Contact any teachers who haven’t turn in letters by sending a cheerful e-mail letting them know that their letter is not showing in the portal, say something like, “Dear Ms. Lopez, I went to the UC Davis portal and did not see your letter of recommendation. Please let me know if there’s something else you need from me.”

 4. Check your FAFSA

If you haven’t filled out the FASFA, you need to do it now. If you have filled it out be sure to make sure all information is filled out correctly to minimize annoying delays. You CAN fill out the FAFSA and provide tax information even if your parents are undocumented. Simply enter 000-00-0000 for their Social Security number. Do no enter their TIN or tax identification numbers that they use to file their taxes!

5. Do more research on each college you hope to attend

In order to make the best decision when you start getting those acceptances that we know you’ll get, you should start researching each college, and the program in the college you intend to major. You should also research student body demographics. It might be very difficult to go to a school that has very few Latinx students.

 6. If you’re concerned about funding, consider community college for the first two years.

You should know that students who go to community college have better persistent rates and get better grades than students who go straight to a four-year. Most California community colleges have Puente programs that provide extra support for Latinx students.

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

Things That Matter

Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

On Sunday, The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

Things That Matter

Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

joebiden / Instagram

Florida’s Latino vote is a crucial part of a winning strategy in the Sunshine State. The demographic shifts in recent years because of natural, financial, and governmental disasters has led to a big Puerto Rican diaspora in Florida. President Trump’s handling of the Hurricane Maria recovery has left Puerto Ricans upset with the administration.

Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are battling for Florida’s Latino voters.

Both the Democratic and Republican nominees are making concerted efforts to shore up Latino support in Florida. There are 3.1 million eligible Latino voters in the swing state and make up a crucial voting bloc. While a large number are conservative Cubans and Cuban-Americans, there are also other Latino communities representing different parts of Latin America.

The polling tells a story of two candidates locked in a heated race for the Latino vote in Florida.

Polls, like The Washington Post-ABC News poll, show Biden taking the lead with Latino voters in Florida. According to that poll, Biden is leading Trump 52 percent to 39 percent. However, Hillary Clinton won the Latino vote in Florida 62 percent to 35 percent in 2016. Clinton’s success with the Latino community of Florida shows that the Latino vote is not the only way to clinch the electoral college votes.

On the other hand, President Trump wants everyone to pay attention to one poll. President Trump is sharing a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News that shows him leading in Florida. According to the poll, Trump leads in Florida by 4 points.

The Latino community in southern Florida is being bombarded by a disinformation campaign.

The disinformation is aimed at Florida’s Latino voters and is peddling conspiracy theories against Biden. One of the most prominent examples of this disinformation was the racist and anti-Semitic insert published in a recent edition of the Miami Herald. The insert compared BLM protesters to Nazis but argued that Nazis were nicer since they didn’t steal anything.

Both candidates are pouring money into their campaign efforts in Florida. Both are spending time and money trying to court the Latino vote in an effort to win the key state.

Critics of the president are pointing to the sudden relief package to Puerto Rico is a grab for votes.

President Trump was harshly and fairly criticized after he didn’t respond to the natural disaster in Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricane devastated the island and left millions without power for weeks. One of the most memorable moments of that time was President Trump throwing paper towels to Puerto Ricans recovering from the disaster.

President Trump, during an election, approved $13 billion in relief funds for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican voters have not forgotten the three years it took for the president to approve relief funds to help rebuild the island after a devastating storm.

READ: The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

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