Lori Loughlin and her husband refused a plea deal in the college admissions scandal and now face additional charges of money laundering for their role in the case. According to TMZ, the U.S. attorney handling the case got an indictment from a federal grand jury to add the charges to the ones they are already facing, and the couple is now likely looking at some prison time.
Loughlin and 15 other parents were indicted by a grand jury in Boston on Tuesday, just a day after Felicity Huffman and 12 other parents pleaded guilty in what FBI agents have dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.”
According to the Department of Justice Massachusetts Attorney’s Office’s website, the 13 parents pleaded guilty to “using bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities.”
Because she accepted a plea deal, Huffman will potentially receive a more lenient sentence, likely something along the lines of 12 months of supervised release and a $20,000 fine.
Loughlin and her husband designer Mossimo Giannulli, on the other hand, did not accept a plea deal, so prosecutors doubled down on the couple with additional charges that could likely dramatically increase the amount of time they could serve behind bars. Money laundering by itself carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Before the new charges, the couple was facing a minimum of two years, but now the minimum that the prosecutors may chase would be closer to five years.
The attorney general said that Loughlin and Giannulli are charged with “conspiring to launder the bribes and other payment in furtherance of the fraud by funneling them through [Rick] Singer’s purported charity and his for-profit corporation.”
UPDATE: Lori Loughlin Indicted for Additional Charge of Money Laundering https://t.co/OMHhwH8m4I— TMZ (@TMZ) April 9, 2019
Loughlin was offered a plea but prosecutors said that they would only accept one that included prison time for their part in the crime, which allegedly included the payment of $500,000 to get their child into a better school than she may have been able to attend otherwise. That large dollar amount, which was allegedly used to bribe a coach, means that prosecutors are coming at the couple harder than they did people who spent less money.
Prosecutors warned Loughlin and her husband that if they didn’t consider the plea, they could be facing additional charges. It looks like they weren’t bluffing.
Loughlin, who is best known for playing “Aunt Becky” on the television show Full House, is accused of spending $500,000 to get her daughters admitted to the University of Southern California on the crew team, despite the fact that neither engage in the sport.