Lori Loughlin is facing new felony charges, the result of her decision not to take a plea deal for her alleged role in the college admissions scandal.
On Tuesday, federal prosecutors introduced new bribery charges against the actress and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli. As Radar Online reported, the U.S. Attorney in charge of the case had warned parents charged in the nationwide college bribery scheme that they would face a new charge if they didn’t plead guilty on Monday. While many of those involved have accepted plea deals, Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty and appear headed toward a trial for their alleged role in the scheme.
Prosecutors said Loughlin and a number of other wealthy parents paid bribes to help their children gain admittance into top colleges and universities. The scheme involved paying college coaches to claim that the students were members of their teams — in some cases, as with Loughlin’s daughters, in sports they never actually played — along with correcting SAT answers for them and other forms of fraud.
Loughlin is alleged to have paid $500,000 to have her daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, listed as members of the University of Southern California crew team.
Fellow actress Felicity Huffman has already pleaded guilty and is serving a 14-day prison sentence, but Loughlin would likely face a much stiffer sentence if she is convicted. Prosecutors have warned that they plan to seek higher penalties for those convicted in a trial.
Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts who has taken the lead on prosecuting the cases, told WCVB in Boston that he would be seeking a higher sentence for Loughlin and took the opportunity to praise Huffman for taking responsibility for her role.
“It just happened to be that Ms. Huffman was probably the least culpable of the defendants who we’ve charged in that case,” Lelling said, via Radar Online.
“She took responsibility almost immediately, she was contrite, did not try to minimize her conduct. I think she handled it in a very classy way.”
As The Inquisitr reported, Loughlin may already be preparing for the possibility of spending time behind bars. An insider told People magazine said that the Fuller House star hopes to debrief Huffman on what it is like behind bars, with plans to speak to Huffman at the end of the month when she leaves prison.
“She’s definitely hoping that Felicity’s time in prison will go easy for her, because that will be a positive sign that, if Lori has to serve time, that she’ll be able to weather it as well,” a source told the outlet.
“She wants to debrief Felicity after jail to find out what it was like and what her advice would be.”