Over a year after the college admissions scandal made headlines and exposed the extreme lengths and huge dollar amounts being tossed around universities, Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have been sentenced to prison for their roles in the scandal. Ahead, everything to know about the sentencing — including Loughlin and Giannulli's guilty pleas.
What exactly is Loughlin pleading guilty to?
According to NBC News, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts announced that Loughlin would plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. CNN reports that she has two additional charges: conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Giannulli is set to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
A week later, source told People that Loughlin "deeply regret what they did." The source added, "This experience has taken a huge emotional and physical toll on both of them."
Will Loughlin go to jail?
NBC News notes that Loughlin could spend up to two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine, be subject to two years of supervised release, and serve 100 hours of community service. Giannulli's charges come with heftier jail time and harsher punishments: up to five months in prison, a $250,000 fine, the same two years of supervised release, and 250 hours of community service. The sentences reflect what prosecutors see as their different roles in the scheme.
"Mossimo took the more active role of the two, and the money technically came from him," a legal expert told People. "Mossimo dealt with Rick Singer more frequently, and was the one who originally connected with him. Lori was a bit more passive, but she was aware of everything that Mossimo was doing."
Why did they wait so long to plead guilty?
People's expert explained that this was the last chance for the couple to enter a plea before the case went to court. If the two were found guilty after the case went to trial, they could have faced longer jail times.
"This was a now or never deal. It was presented as the last clear chance for them to plead before going to trial, and they knew that if they were found guilty, they were realistically looking at more than a year behind bars, probably more like three or four," the expert added.
The magazine adds that Loughlin and Giannulli will formally plead guilty before a judge on Friday. They are officially the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case, which included Felicity Huffman. She was sentenced to 14 days in prison and served 11 at a federal facility in Northern California. She pleaded guilty in May after being charged with paying a bribe of $15,000.
Could they have faced harsher sentences?
According to the Department of Justice, individuals charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud could see up to 20 years in prison.
"Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case," U.S. attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement. "We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions."
What was their sentencing?
Loughlin will serve two months in prison, Giannulli will serve five months. Loughlin will also have to pay a fine of $150,000. Giannulli also faces a $250,000 fine and 250 hours of community service, according to the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
"I made an awful decision," Loughlin said at the sentencing. "I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process. In doing so, I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass."
Where will they serve their time?
US Weekly obtained an order confirming that a judge has approved Loughlin's request to serve her time at the federal correctional institution in Victorville, California, closer to her home. According to the document, Loughlin will "be designated to a facility closest to her home in CA, preferably the camp at FCI Victorville, if commensurate with the appropriate security level."
The Bureau of Prisons will have final approval of her request, but US Weekly reports that federal prison records show that Loughlin already has a registration number assigned to her at the facility. She must surrender to the facility no later than 2 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2020.
When will Loughlin start her sentence?
Loughlin turned herself over to the authorities on October 30. She will serve two months.
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