Many of the rich and powerful parents indicted for their role in a nationwide college admissions scandal are pleading guilty. Lori Loughlin is choosing a different route. Documents filed in a Boston federal court revealed that she and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are pleading not guilty.
They were each initially charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud allegedly paying half a million dollars through a fake charity. The money went to bribes that secured admission for their daughters Isabella and Olivia at the University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team despite the fact that neither girl participated in crew.
Prosecutors offered a plea deal that Felicity Huffman and a dozen other parents took, offering guilty pleas in exchange for more lenient sentences.
In a statement after she pled guilty, Huffman expressed contrition in a written statement.
“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions.”
No such contrition came from Loughlin and the 14 other parents who chose not to strike a deal with prosecutors. They were subsequently hit with superseding indictments that added a conspiracy to commit money laundering charge stemming from the use of a bogus charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation, to transfer the funds.
It appears that the prosecution’s case hinges on the work of cooperating witnesses, including mastermind Rick Singer. The initial indictment contains excerpts of recorded conversations between many of the parents, Singer, and the proctors and coaches who accepted bribes.
If she is convicted of both charges and given the maximum penalty, Loughlin would receive a sentence of 40 years in jail. If she served the entirety of that sentence, she’d be in her 90s upon release, presumably too old to reprise the role of Aunt Becky in any sort of Fullest House reboot.