Update 04/15/2019 2:59pm:
Previously it was reported that Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, had rejected a plea deal for their roles in the infamous college bribery scandal, while now it's been revealed that they've both plead not guilty.
Sources close to the case say that Loughlin and Giannulli initially rejected the prosecution's offer because they refused to agree to any jail time, yet that decision has already led to significant legal repercussions.
“She probably should have taken the deal, but at the time, she didn’t really realize how serious the charges were,” a source recently told People magazine, while adding that "I think she and her lawyers underestimated how motivated the prosecution was. So she didn’t plead, and then they hit her with another charge. Now she’s willing to negotiate, but the prosecution says that the deal is off the table. So the only choice they’ve got is to plead not guilty. That’s all they can do.”
For that reason, they both pleaded not guilty to mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy earlier this morning, where if convicted they face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
Update 04/09/2019 1:57pm:
Earlier today it was reported that Felicity Huffman had reached a plea deal in the bribery scandal that includes an undisclosed amount of prison time, while now it's been revealed that fellow actress Lori Loughlin has been indicted on more charges after not copping to a similar agreement.
Along with her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, the "Full House" actress was indicted on fraud and money laundering charges today with 14 other parents involved in the scandal, which now increases the amount of prison time they would get as a recommended minimum sentence.
While they were previously thought to be facing two-years minimum for their crimes, it's been noted that the money laundering charge alone carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Original 03/12/2019 3:04pm:
A massive bribery scam involving some of the most elite colleges in the country has recently been uncovered, in an indictment that's found actresses, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, charged with 48 others for their roles in the alleged scandal.
The charges include conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, while the scam reportedly involved money sent to a California businessman who promised to get applicants into the colleges of their choice. That man has since been revealed to be William Rick Singer, the ringleader of the scam who created a fake non-profit, charitable foundation that served as a front to launder payments from the parents.
The method used by Singer was to funnel the money to athletic coaches and SAT/ACT administrators, who would create fabricated profiles for the students in question while correcting their answers on standardized tests and exams. Singer would then instruct the parents to write off the alleged bribes as tax-deductible "donations" to his non-profit.
The feds have revealed that most parents paid between $200k and $400k for Singer's help, though some payments apparently went for as high as $6.5 million. Altogether, it's been reported that investigators uncovered about $25 million in bribes.
Meanwhile, Loughlin, along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli (the founder of Mossimo clothing), allegedly paid $500,000 to have their 2 daughters designated as recruits for the USC crew team, despite the fact that they did not actually participate in crew. To make their new profiles more believable, however, the feds say Mossimo sent action photos of their daughters on rowing machines.
Additionally, Huffman, and her husband, actor William H. Macy, have been accused of making a "charitable contribution" of $15,000 to participate in a cheating scheme on behalf of their eldest daughter, paying for her to be given twice the amount of time to take the SATs compared to other students. If that wasn't enough, the paid proctor agreed to secretly correct her answers afterward, which led to a score that was 400 points over her PSAT.
Furthermore, the feds say they have recorded phone calls from Loughlin and Huffman talking about the alleged scheme with a witness who was cooperating with investigators.
As for the charges, while they range from conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud for the actresses, Singer has reportedly already pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.