Lori Loughlin may have been all smiles when she first appeared at a Boston courthouse to meet the judge presiding over her college admissions cheating scandal case, but her face now likely looks a lot different. That’s because after rejecting an initial plea deal for her felony charges like conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, Loughlin, along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli, has been hit with an additional charge for money laundering.
While Felicity Huffman accepted a deal for her own involvement in the scandal, pleading guilty and issuing a statement of regret, Loughlin and Giannulli refused to do the same. Apparently, the deal they were offered required 18 to 24 months of jail time, which neither would accept, according to a source close to the pair who spoke with People. That duration of time in prison, while significant, is far less than the 20 years the couple were facing before the money laundering charge. “They were offered the carrot and the stick,” the source said. “The carrot was that this can all go away and you can serve your time and put it behind you. Remember, they were facing 20 years, even before the latest charges. The stick was that [the prosecution] would and could pile on more serious charges.”
According to the source, Loughlin and Giannulli thought they might be better off waiting and seeing what happens with their case, rather than taking the jail time and moving on. “They decided to roll the dice,” the source added, “and it may have been a bad gamble. Now they’re in worse shape than before…. They weren’t ready to accept that. They’re really not seeing how serious this is.” It is so serious that Loughlin and Giannulli could get up to 20 years in prison for each charge now.
Since their charges went public, Loughlin and Giannulli have yet to speak about what exactly happened when they allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose into University of Southern California—let alone as crew recruits despite the fact that neither of the teens row.
In contrast, in Huffman’s statement following her acceptance of a plea deal, she said, “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.” Huffman also acknowledged the many students who have to earn their way into college the legal way, and often at great cost. “I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college,” she added, “and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.”