Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are pleading not guilty to the charges against them, new court docs obtained by ET confirm.
The 54-year-old actress and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters, 19-year-old Olivia and 20-year-old Bella, admitted to the University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team, even though neither of them participated in the sport. Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley granted the couple's request to waive their right to appear in court to enter their pleas.
The news comes less than a week after Loughlin and Giannulli were charged in a second superseding indictment on conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering.
The charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering.
Ultimately, if convicted and then sentenced to the maximum extent of the law, Loughlin could face up to 40 years in jail. Although, most experts agree that the chance of sentencing that severe is almost nonexistent.
A source recently told ET that, up until the second superseding indictment, Loughlin didn't believe she would face the possibility of serving time in prison.
"Lori still believed in the end she would just get a slap on the wrist," the source claimed. "At this point she is getting complete clarity and she’s scared and in terrible shape."
"The reality of this situation has finally hit her like a ton of bricks," the source added. "It wasn’t until she was faced with [the] additional [charge] that she saw the true ramifications."
Earlier this month, Rachel Stockman of the Law & Crime Network told ET that, if Loughlin ends up serving jail time, it would likely be at a minimum security facility.
"Based on these charges and the fact that they have not been in legal trouble before, and the fact that, probably, they are not a security risk, they'll probably be at a minimum security prison," Stockman speculated. "Very similar to the one Martha Stewart spent time at."
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