Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, both pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges after they were arrested for allegedly participating in a nationwide college admissions scandal.
According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly, the pair entered their pleas on Monday, April 15, and requested to waive their right to appear in court again to enter pleas for new money laundering charges that were brought against them on April 9. A source previously told Us that Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, were offered a plea deal that included a minimum two-year prison stint, but they rejected the prosecutors’ offer.
The Fuller House actress and the fashion designer were arrested in March after they allegedly “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
Loughlin and Giannulli were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud. Weeks later, they were also charged with wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.
A source previously told Us Weekly that the the Summerland alum “is in denial” about possibly going to prison. “[She] doesn’t believe she should have to spend any time in prison,” the insider noted. “She’ll go to trial before being separated from her family, and take those odds rather than just go to prison as part of a deal.”
The couple’s daughters, Olivia Jade, 19, and Bella, 20, both attended the University of Southern California at the time the news of the scandal broke, but a university spokesperson told Us that their future enrollment status is unknown.
The former When Calls the Heart star and the fashion designer, 55, appeared before a judge immediately following their arrests and were each released on a $1 million bond. Less than one month later, the duo went before Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley at a federal court in Boston, where they were told they face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Both Loughlin and Olivia have lost work opportunities in the wake of the scandal. The Hallmark Channel announced on March 14 that the Homegrown Christmas actress would no longer be a part of the network’s upcoming productions. The YouTube star, for her part, lost brand deals with companies including Sephora and TRESemmé.
Actress Felicity Huffman was also arrested for her alleged involvement in the scandal and also appeared in federal court on April 3. The Desperate Housewives alum, 56, broke her silence on the scheme on April 8.
“I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office,” she said in a statement. “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I am done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions.”
Huffman continued, “My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
The Golden Globe winner allegedly “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000” to help her 18-year-old daughter, Sofia Macy, get into a prestigious university. She and husband William H. Macy are also the parents of daughter Georgia, 17.