Former “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannuli have decided to not give in to federal prosecutors who have secured serious indictments against them in the far-reaching college admissions bribery scandal that could lead to years in prison.
The couple on Monday pleaded not guilty in federal court in Boston, unlike Felicity Huffman and 13 other wealthy parents who last week took plea deals to reportedly avoid lengthy prison sentences.
There are several possible reasons Loughlin and her fashion designer husband have chosen this legal strategy, at least at this stage of the process, according to reports.
The first is that Loughlin and Giannulli felt they had “no choice” but to plead not guilty, after a reportedly “in denial” Loughlin rejected an initial plea deal, thinking she could “skate by” and avoid jail time, sources told E! News. The couple are charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to fake their daughters way into the University of Southern California as crew athletes.
USC boasts a very selective, 13-percent admissions rate. Neither Olivia Jade, 19, nor Isabella, 20, were crew team members at their elite Los Angeles prep school or were otherwise known to have participated in the sport, according to the affidavit filed in support of the charges.
Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, instead decided to “roll the dice,” a source told People, and they ended up being hit last week with more serious fraud and money laundering charges, with each charge carrying maximum sentences of 20 years in prison — or 40 years total, according to reports.
“And it may have been a bad gamble,” a source told People. “Now they’re in worse shape than before.”
“I think she and her lawyers underestimated how motivated the prosecution was,” another source added to People. “So she didn’t plead, and then they hit her with another charge” and any deal now is off the table.
“So the only choice they’ve got is to plead not guilty,” the source said.
But there may be a second reason that Loughlin and Giunnulli felt they had no choice but to fight the charges.
It is that Loughlin was very concerned about what a guilty plea would do to their daughters, “who may not have grasped everything that was going on,” a source told People.
The source told People that Loughlin worried that Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli would somehow think less of her if she took a plea deal.
Source:: East Bay – Entertainment