News and Commentary

Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli Plead ‘Not Guilty’ In College Admissions Bribery Scam

Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded “not guilty” against charges of mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy in the college bribery scam.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Loughlin and her husband waived their right to appear in court for an arraignment and simply pled not guilty. Last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston announced the famous couple were being charged “in a second superseding indictment with conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to use bribery to cheat on college entrance exams and to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities as purported athletic recruits.” Other prominent parents were indicted on similar charges.

Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly worked in concert with William “Rick” Singer to bribe college officials and rig the entrance exams so that their children could be accepted into elite universities. USA Today reported last week that prosecutors say the new indictments resulted from the defendants allegedly “conspiring to launder bribes and other payments in furtherance of the fraud by funneling them through Singer’s purported charity and his for-profit corporation, as well as by transferring money into the United States, from outside the United States, for the purpose of promoting the fraud scheme.”

Lori Loughlin’s “not guilty” plea stands in stark contrast with that of actress Felicity Huffman — she entered a guilty plea last week, apologizing for her behavior while begging the American public for forgiveness.

“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” Huffman said in the statement. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them. I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.”

Last week, a source told E! News that Loughlin is now reportedly “freaking out” over the prospect of being sentenced to jail, where she allegedly could be headed for as long as 40 years. Unlike Felicity Huffman, Loughlin apparently thought the district attorney was “bluffing.”

“Firm in her beliefs that surely she wouldn’t see the inside of a prison cell, a source tells E! News, she neglected to join the 13 parents (including fellow actress Felicity Huffman) and one university athletic coach who agreed to plead guilty to the charges of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud,” the outlet reported.

The source confirmed to E! News that Loughlin has been in “complete denial” over the seriousness of her situation. “She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by,” the source said. “She refused to accept any jail time and thought the prosecutor was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn’t do any jail time. Lori is finally realizing just how serious this is. She is seeing the light that she will do jail time and is freaking out.”

Loughlin has been dropped from both the Hallmark Channel and the Netflix series “Fuller House.”