Lori Loughlin ‘Broke Down’ Upon Hearing How Many Years She Could Be Spending In Prison

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As the college admissions case has continued to pan out and the outlook has become increasingly grim for Lori Loughlin, the actress has publicly appeared fairly undaunted. She and her designer husband Mossimo Giannulli recently pleaded not guilty to the charges they are facing in the scandal. Loughlin has been accused of agreeing to pay thousands of dollars to secure her daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, a spot at the University of Southern California. She also reportedly tried to present her daughters as crew recruits, despite the fact that neither girl was a rower. She has maintained her innocence thus far, but as the pressure continues to mount, she is starting to feel the heat, according to Fox News.

Loughlin is currently facing charges not only for money laundering but for conspiracy to commit fraud. If she is found guilty on all fronts, she could be facing a maximum of 40 years behind bars. At 54-years-old, this would mean she would likely spend the rest of her life in prison if convicted.

Inside sources revealed to Entertainment Tonight that Loughlin and Giannulli conveyed that they were unaware that they were actually breaking the law by agreeing to the bribery scheme. They are instead placing the blame on Rick Singer, the alleged mastermind behind the extensive cheating scandal.

“[Lori and her husband] claim they were under the impression they might be breaking rules, but not laws. They feel they were manipulated by those involved and are planning that as part of their defense. They realize how serious the charges are, but feel that once the judge hears their story he will see they had no bad intentions.”

The actress has been criticized in the media for not publicly appearing to take the trouble she’s in seriously. Prior to making a previous court appearance, she was all smiles and even took the time to sign autographs. However, it appears that since then, she has finally realized the gravity of the situation. Upon recognizing that she is facing a possible future behind bars and away from her daughters, a source said she was brought to tears.

“When Lori heard the number of years she could spend in prison she broke down crying. The thought of being separated from her loved ones for years brought her to her knees. She has watched as the other families cut deals but her husband feels they are not guilty and should plead not guilty.”

While Loughlin may genuinely believe she is innocent, it will be a challenge to prove it to a judge. Her legal team is in the process of preparing their defense.