Lori Loughlin is reportedly having trouble keeping her family from devolving into “chaos” in the wake of new federal charges related to her role in the ongoing college admissions scandal.
As the former “Fuller House” star, 55, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, 56, await their next court date on Jan. 17, a source close to the couple tells People that the family has been in panic mode since the Justice Department announced new charges related to bribery.
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“The entire family is in chaos right now,” the source revealed. “They knew this was a possibility, but they thought perhaps it was just a bargaining tool from the prosecution. Now that the charges are official, they are realizing that there is no way to avoid a moderately long prison sentence, unless they are found not guilty in a trial.”
Lori Loughlin is having trouble keeping her house in order as a likely prison sentence looms.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Giannulli and Loughlin are accused of arranging a total collective payment of $500,000 to get daughters Isabella and Olivia Jade recruited to USC as athletes on the crew team despite never being in the sport.
“They feel like this is David versus Goliath,” the source said. “How do you go up against the federal government when the government has decided to make an example out of you? This stress is about to break them.”
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Last week, the Justice Department announced that the couple, along with nine other parents, were indicted on federal charges related to bribery. A grand jury in Boston indicted the parents on charges of trying to bribe officials at an organization that receives at least $10,000 in federal funding. In this case, they’re accused of paying to get their children admitted to the University of Southern California. All 11 defendants pleaded not guilty to other charges in the scheme.
Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, rejected a plea deal in the college admissions scandal case.
(Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
The charge of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The couple was previously hit with additional charges of money laundering and conspiracy that could land them behind bars for 40 years if convicted on all of them. Prosecutors are pressuring those who have pleaded not guilty in the college admissions scandal to acknowledge their guilt.
Loughlin and Giannulli rejected the plea deal that other parents allegedly involved in the case – including fellow actress Felicity Huffman – accepted. Hufffman was sentenced to just 14 days in prison and was released after 11.
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“Does she regret not taking the deal? Of course she does, because it would have been easier,” said the source. “But taking the deal would have admitted guilt, and she believes she was duped by unscrupulous people who enriched themselves off of her. It is her position that she was not some sort of criminal mastermind.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.