ET has confirmed that Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli’s legal team officially entered not guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. The not guilty pleas were entered on Wednesday in a Boston federal courtroom. Loughlin and Giannulli did not have to be present to enter their pleas.
ET has reached out to attorneys for Loughlin and Giannulli for comment.
ET confirmed earlier this month that lawyers for the 55-year-old actress and 56-year-old fashion designer filed court documents stating that the couple plans to plead not guilty to new charges of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. In the court documents, which were filed on Nov. 1, Loughlin and Giannulli waived their right to appear at a Nov. 20 arraignment in Boston, which was canceled.
On Oct. 22, the couple and nine other parents received the additional charges by a grand jury for their alleged role in the college admissions scandal. The new charges in the third superseding indictment allege the parents conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California to facilitate their children's admission. In exchange for the bribes, employees of the university allegedly designated the defendants’ children as athletic recruits – with little or no regard for their athletic abilities – or as members of other favored admissions categories.
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters, 20-year-old Olivia and 21-year-old Bella, admitted to USC as recruits for the crew team, even though neither had ever participated in the sport. Loughlin and Giannulli were charged in a second superseding indictment on conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering in April, and have pleaded not guilty.
"Lori is worried and has had sleepless nights throughout this nightmare, but she has never felt the fear she has today," a source told ET earlier this month. "At this point, choosing the path of not making a plea deal could end her in prison for a long time. The reality is overwhelming. Despite being repeatedly told by friends to attempt to make a deal, she has stuck to her guns and still has no plans to plead guilty even with the additional charges. She is convinced that the prosecution is determined to make an example of her."
"The new bribery charge has affected everyone," the source added. "Emotionally the whole family has suffered tremendously and it has taken its toll. They are all scared to death."