The Fuller House star and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted in a second superseding charge of conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering on Tuesday, and that could potentially lead to significant jail time for the Full House alum.
Rachel Stockman, of the Law & Crime Network, spoke with ET on Tuesday, and opened up about what the new charge could mean for the 54-year-old actress, if she's convicted.
"I think given the seriousness of the crime, it's very likely that Lori Loughlin will serve prison time," Stockman shared.
Last month, Loughlin and Giannulli were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The new indictment by a federal grand jury in Boston, Massachusetts, on Tuesday adds a money laundering charge to the couple, as well as 14 parents who have been accused of using bribery to get their children into selective colleges and universities.
According to TMZ, Loughlin and Giannulli denied a plea deal that would have had them serve a minimum of two years in prison. Now, the outlet says prosecutors are recommending a minimum of four years and nine months.
On Monday, Felicity Huffman, along with 12 other parents and one university athletic coach involved in the massive college admissions cheating scandal, pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
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Loughlin, however, has not accepted a plea deal and Stockman explained that it's likely due to the actress' legal team attempting to mitigate the potential punishment if they make a deal.
"Why Lori's decision might be taking longer is there could still be negotiations going on," Stockman shared. "And again, this is a much bigger decision for her team to make [regarding] whether she's going to take the plea deal, which could involve years not months."
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.
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Furthermore, if Huffman and Loughlin actually find themselves behind bars, Stockman said the term would likely be served 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 shared. "Very similar to the one Martha Stewart spent time at."
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team, even though neither of them participated in the sport.