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US actress Lori Loughlin pleads not guilty in college bribery scam case

Actress Felicity Huffman and a dozen other parents have already agreed to plead guilty.

US actress Lori Loughlin with husband Mossimo Giannulli
US actress Lori Loughlin with husband Mossimo Giannulli
Image: Steven Senne

US ACTRESS LORI Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are pleading not guilty in the college admissions bribery scam.

Loughlin and Gianulli are accused of paying $500,000 (€440,000) so that their two daughters could gain entrance into the University of Southern California. The couple have not publicly addressed the allegations against them.

Last week, the couple were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering in the ongoing scandal, increasing the likelihood that they could serve time in prison.

Loughlin, best-known for her role in Full House, has already been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Last week’s fresh charge is punishable by up to 20 years in jail, bringing the total prison time she now potentially faces to 40 years.

In court documents filed today, the couple have said they are waiving their right to appear in court for an arraignment and plead not guilty to the charges. 

Actress Felicity Huffman and a dozen other parents have already agreed to plead guilty to using bribery to get their children into prestigious universities.

The prosecutor’s office has recommended a sentence corresponding to the bottom end of the possible range in Huffman’s case, which provides for a minimum of four months in prison.

The sentencing judge is not required to follow this recommendation, however. 

Huffman (56) best known for her role in the Desperate Housewives series, agreed to plead guilty to paying $15,000 (€13,317) to help her eldest daughter get better scores on the SAT college entrance exam.

The ringleader behind the scam, William “Rick” Singer, who authorities say was paid about $25 million (€22.2 million) to bribe coaches and university administrators, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities.

This is the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. 

With reporting from © – AFP 2019

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