Lori Loughlin and Husband Plead Not Guilty in College Admissions Cheating Scandal


Lori Loughlin and her husband J. Mossimo Giannulli have pleaded not guilty in the high-profile college admissions cheating scandal.

According to CNN and the Los Angeles Times, the couple filed documents in federal court that waive their right to an arraignment and to plead not guilty. Several other defendants have also pleaded not guilty in the high profile case.

Loughlin and Giannulli face charges of mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each charge. The couple was previously offered a plea agreement, but ultimately decided to reject the deal because they didn’t want to spend time in jail, a legal source told PEOPLE last week.

On March 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced that it had charged 50 people, including Loughlin and fellow actress Felicity Huffman, in the cheating scandal. The two actresses, along with coaches, admissions counselors and parents were accused of such alleged crimes as falsifying SAT scores and lying about the athletic skills of their children.

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RELATED: Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy Make Courthouse Return After Her College Admissions Scandal Arrest

Huffman paid $15,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes. Singer then allegedly facilitated cheating on Huffman’s daughter’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers after the fact.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Huffman has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, saying, “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.”

RELATED: Amid the College Admissions Scandal, Here Are 8 Organizations Helping Disadvantaged Students

Loughlin, meanwhile, allegedly wanted her daughters to get into the University of Southern California so badly that she and Giannulli paid approximately $500,000 in bribes to falsely designate their daughters as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew.

RELATED: Why William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman’s Husband, Was Not Charged in College Cheating Scandal

Loughlin and Ginnulli have hired a team of high-profile attorneys to represent them in the case.

“They decided to roll the dice,” the legal source told PEOPLE last week about their decision to reject the plea deal, “and it may have been a bad gamble. Now they’re in worse shape than before.”

“ are saying that the only way anyone’s going to escape jail time is if they go to trial and …read more

Source:: People

      

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