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Rick discussed on Bloomberg Law


And thirteen other parents claimed they were the ones stand by the government in the college admissions scandal they're asking a federal judge to throw out the charges against them claiming that Rick singer the admitted mastermind of the scheme set them up in wire tapped phone conversations joining me is Peter Henning a professor at Wayne State University law school Peter the parents are claiming that new evidence shows the F. B. I. push the ringleader to invent evidence against them what do they have their argument here is that Rick singer that the agents yelled at him told him to lie on recorded calls told him not to mention any exculpatory information that he had previously told its clients and also that they M. crap to parent him so I think what we may be in this case he is an entrapment defense which is that that the parents weren't predisposed to commit a crime but that Rick Sanger was there in cramping them because he was a government agent at that time and he and his phone calls with the various parents that he was a government agent in there for an entrapment defense might well work you and I both know that prosecutors often use aggressive tactics to get parents to plead guilty did the prosecutors here using more aggressive tactics than most I think they were very aggressive in this case and that that would be the FBI agents involved in working with Rick singer in this case what the parents are arguing his van the government overstepped its bounds and went too far in how he used singer to try to win cracked the parents him so we may well see it would be interesting to see once we hear the recordings here Rick Sanger trying to get people to say things that they didn't really intend to say then that might lead to an entrapment type defense and so we're going to have to see how this is going to play out are those defenses difficult to mount an entrapment defense is never easy to put on it would likely require either Lori Laughlin or her husband to testify at the trial and say that they were misled by Rick singer and so in that type of the situation and you really have the possibilities in which they would be able to say look I didn't do anything wrong I was in cramped by Mister singer and singer got me to say things that I didn't really intend to say where is the rest of the evidence fit in there talking about the recorded phone calls but there were also faked photos and resumes claiming that Laughlin's daughters were rowers were athletes and certainly that's something that they had to have known about certainly and they certainly didn't know about that and in this case various parents were paying to have their children's SAT scores or ACT scores manipulated him so those are the types of cases that are going to be much stronger for the government but you know with regard to Lori Laughlin I think she could make a reasonable argument that Rick Sanger in tractor and so what the government's going to have to prove in any type of entrapment case is you have to show what's called predisposition that she intended to violate the law with regard to paying off the university of southern California and so that's really going to be the challenge for prosecutors they're going to have to show that she was predisposed to commit the crime and that's not always an easy thing to do prosecutors haven't responded yet they have until next week to respond are they likely to deny that there was any kind of entrapment into dispute what Laughlin says or they more likely to present some kind of a technical legal defense what the government wrote in its letters to the defense lawyers as they said there's no exculpatory evidence in other words what's known as Brady evidence and so their argument is that we've disclosed everything we've disclosed everything that you need to know in order to defend your client and so if they're going to argue in trap meant here the government's going to try to show that Lori Laughlin and her husband were predisposed to act improperly hand to get their kids into the university of southern California by whatever means they could hand that can help to show predisposition and so it's much more difficult to show predisposition but it's not impossible and prosecutors I think are going to focus on them once they hear entrapment they're going to become very aggressive on whether they can show that Lori Laughlin and her husband were predisposed to violate the law and let me ask you this Peter suppose that the prosecutors didn't try to threaten or force singer did say these things suppose he did it on his own would that be any defense for the prosecution ordered still be considered entrapment because he's a government agent it could well be entrapment because he was a government agent when he recorded those phone calls but it is the interesting point is going to be when did he cross the line into because coming the government agent and so if they have recordings from before he became a government agent they're going to be able to use those against the defendants and to be able to say looking here you were paying off somebody from either the university of southern California or yield or Georgetown you were willing to make payments to get your cash those schools and so I think prosecutors are going to be pretty aggressive in this area and they're going to fight and claim look there's no material exculpatory information that we have to turn over they've taken that position for a while now and I think they're going to continue to stick with that saying we didn't do anything wrong thanks for being on Bloomberg law Peter that's Peter Henning a professor at Wayne State University law school the parents are also arguing that their cases don't belong in Boston federal court because their alleged crimes were not committed in Massachusetts coming.

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