Fear factor. Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s decision to alter their pleas in the college admissions scandal did not come easy — after all, they made the move more than a year after being arrested — but ultimately, they realized the case against them was too strong.
“Lori and Mossimo felt going to trial would just be reckless,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively, noting that the couple also worried about the potential of their daughters, Bella, 21, and Olivia Jade, 20, having to testify. “It was going to get ugly.”
A source close to the Full House alum, meanwhile, explains that the pair “were tired of being in limbo” and “couldn’t move on with their lives” until they pleaded guilty.
The U.S. Attorney’s office announced on Thursday, May 21, that Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 56, had accepted a plea deal and would admit their guilt on fraud charges. They officially entered their pleas during a virtual court appearance on Friday, May 22, although the judge won’t accept them until he sees pre-sentencing reports from the Massachusetts Probation Service. Their sentencing is scheduled for August 21.
“In the end, they had the choice of 50 years or a few months behind bars,” the Loughlin source tells Us. “You do the math.”
As part of a plea deal, the actress agreed to serve two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine and serve 100 hours of community service. The Mossimo founder, meanwhile, is expected to spend five months behind bars, pay $250,000 and serve 250 hours of community service. They both also agreed to serve two years of supervised release.
“It’s not only her life. The kids’ lives were also being affected,” the Loughlin source adds, explaining that Bella and Olivia Jade are thrilled to have “the cloud of negative press around them gone so they can finally move on.”
Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted in March 2019 for paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits despite the girls having no experience with the sport.