Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are celebrating 22 years of marriage on Wednesday. However, a source tells PEOPLE that they’re more focused on avoiding jail time for their alleged roles in the college admissions scandal than the milestone.
“Their anniversary is the last thing on their mind, as they’re trying to figure out their legal options and the case against them,” the source says. “They’re unified and working together to fight these charges, but they’re not really in a celebration mood, as far as I can tell.”
“It’s all business, all the time with them as they move through this,” the source adds. “Anything they do will be low-key and just between the two of them.”
On Oct. 22, The U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release that Loughlin, 55, Giannulli, 56, and nine other defendants “conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California (USC) to facilitate their children’s admission.” They have been charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery.
Prior to the new charges, Loughlin and Giannulli both already faced charges of money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud. They previously faced up to 40 years in prison and have pleaded not guilty to the original charges.
A source previously told PEOPLE that the Full House star regrets not taking the initial plea deal. “Of course she does, because it would have been easier,” the Loughlin insider said.
“But taking the deal would have admitted guilt, and she believes she was duped by unscrupulous people who enriched themselves off her. It is her position that she was not some sort of criminal mastermind,” the source added. “She just wanted what was best for her daughters. And it has turned into an ongoing nightmare.”
On March 12, the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts indicted Loughlin and Giannulli in the shocking nationwide scam as part of an investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues. Nearly 50 other parents, coaches, exam proctors and admissions counselors are accused of actions such as paying for boosted SAT scores and lying about students’ athletic skills in order to gain them acceptance to elite colleges including Yale, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and Stanford.
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 to admissions consultant William Singer to falsely designate daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, 20, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, as recruits to the USC crew team, though neither actually participated in the sport. (The USC Registrar has since confirmedthat “Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli are not currently enrolled” at the university.)