Lori Loughlin Reportedly Expected A ‘Slap On The Wrist’ For College Scandal, Not Prison Time

Lori Loughlin attends the 2018 Hallmark Channel Summer TCA at a private residence on July 26, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

It has been one month since Lori Loughlin’s arrest for her involvement in the widespread college admissions scandal, but the actress is only just now realizing that she may face prison time. A source revealed to Entertainment Tonight that until Loughlin’s second superseding indictment on conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering this week, she had only expected to get a “slap on the wrist” for her actions. Now, the possibility of jail time for the Fuller House star and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, seems very real.

“Lori still believed in the end she would just get a slap on the wrist,” the source said. “At this point she is getting complete clarity and she’s scared and in terrible shape.”

The source added that the situation “hit her like a ton of bricks” on Tuesday, when she faced additional charges.

“It wasn’t until she was faced with additional charges that she saw the true ramifications,” they continued.

In March, Loughlin and her husband were among 50 people accused of scheming with a California man in order to bribe several Ivy League schools into offering unwarranted admission to children of wealthy parents and celebrities.

The actress and her husband were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, CNN reported. As the scandal unfolded, it was revealed that the two allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to coaches and administrators at the University of Southern California for their daughters — Olivia and Isabella — to be falsely recruited as members of the crew team. Neither daughter had participated in crew.

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. attorney added an additional charge of money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney stated that Loughlin, her husband, and 14 other individuals involved in the scheme will be 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,” according to TMZ.

If convicted and sentenced to the maximum extent of the law, Loughlin could face 40 years of prison time and $750,000 in fines.

Loughlin and her husband are reportedly in a much worse situation now that they rejected a plea deal offered to them this week. Taking the deal would likely have resulted in reduced prison time. Sources close to the couple have said that they are not taking the situation seriously.

“There seems to be a certain belief among her people she is above all of this and everything will be just fine,” ET’s source said. “And it’s becoming more and more evident that is not the case.”