For their part in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are facing expanded charges for paying $500,000 to get their daughters admitted to USC on the crew team, despite neither rowing crew. They even faked pictures to make their daughters appear to participate in the sport.
According to a new report, Loughlin and Gianulli pleaded not guilty to new charges of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. The couple had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of to fraud and money laundering.
Could She Face Prison Time?
If the couple is found guilty, they could face up to 45 years in prison. However, it is unlikely that they would serve such a harsh sentence. Another parent implicated in the scandal, real estate executive Toby MacFarlane, was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, and his case was shockingly similar to Loughlin's. He also lied about his children's athletic extra curricular and paid $450,000 in bribes to get them admitted into USC.
"These cases are very similar. It’s almost the same amount of money. It’s two kids. It’s faking the profiles, etc. Now this was a guilty plea. This was someone who’s accepted responsibility for it, and is still getting six months. So you’ve got to believe if [Loughlin] were to take it to trial, with the additional charge that’s been thrown on her, if she was convicted, she’d be looking at a few years. I wouldn’t be surprised if she got 2 to 3 years if she’s convicted."
She Is 'Terrified' At The Prospect Of Prison
"She is breaking down. She truly feels at her very worst. People are coming out in support of her lately but she is afraid to open up. She's concerned if she talks to the wrong people that her opinions will get out and somehow affect the case.
Lori has always been an upstanding citizen, a loving mother and a gracious, wonderful friend. Those closest to her are devastated because she has been a good person to them and know she could be facing jail time because of very poor judgement. Her friends are supporting her and keep reminding her if she does time behind bars she will get through this."
Her Daughters Feel Sorry For Her
"They are trying to help her process but it’s been really hard. The girls feel guilty because they realize she was only trying to help their future. They know their mother is a good person, and don't want her to suffer in any way."
For what it's worth, neither girl is still enrolled at USC. The USC Registrar made a statement to People on Monday, saying:
"Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli are not currently enrolled. We are unable to provide additional information because of student privacy laws."