Full House star Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded not guilty on Monday morning to charges related to the ongoing college admissions scandal.
Loughlin filed a document with the U.S District Court in Boston, asking the court to enter a not-guilty plea on her behalf, ABC News reported. She also asserted her right to waive her appearance at the upcoming arraignment.
Giannulli submitted an identical document to the court.
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The judge in the case can either accept the requests or compel the pair to appear.
Loughlin and Giannulli were among 33 prominent parents — including actor Felicity Huffman — accused of participating in a scheme that involved rigging college entrance exams and bribing coaches at elite universities.
Last week, Loughlin and Giannulli were among 16 parents hit with a new indictment: money laundering conspiracy.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts made the announcement on Tuesday, saying, “Sixteen parents involved in the college admissions scandal were charged today in Boston 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.”
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“The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering,” the Attorney’s Office said.
Huffman, 12 other parents and a coach agreed to plead guilty last week, signalling an escalation in the case against the parents who are continuing to fight the allegations against them.
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of them participated in the sport. The couple has not publicly commented on the charges.
Huffman, who starred in Desperate Housewives, was accused of paying $15,000 disguised as a charitable donation to have a proctor correct the answers on her daughter’s SAT. She and 12 other parents agreed to plead guilty Monday to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Prosecutors say they will seek a prison sentence that’s on the low end of between four and 10 months for Huffman.
In her first public comments since her arrest, Huffman took responsibility for her actions and said she would accept the consequences.
Rick Singer, the consultant at the center of the scheme, pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy on March 12, the same day the allegations against the parents and coaches were made public in the so-called Operations Varsity Blues investigation.
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty,” she said in a statement after her plea deal was announced.
Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli were enrolled at the University of Southern California, but there were reports that the sisters withdrew from classes after their mother and father were indicted in the admissions scandal.
— With files from The Associated Press and Katie ScottFollow @CJancelewicz
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