It looks like Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her designer husband Mossimo Giannulli could end up in the big house as the pair just pleaded not guilty in their college admissions cheating case. The couple's plea comes after it was reported they originally thought prosecutors were bluffing when they rejected a more lenient plea deal.
They face a minimum of four years and nine months in prison, according to TMZ, but could get as much as 20 years now that prosecutors have tacked on additional money laundering charges. Loughlin and Giannulli are accused to paying $500,000 (£375,000) to fraudulently get their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose into the University of Southern California.
The couple is taking a markedly different route than actress Felicity Huffman and 13 others, who pleaded guilty to "using bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities." While Huffman said she is "ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community," Loughlin seems to be in a state of denial and continues to be defiant. A source told People that Louhglin believes any mum would've done the same thing for their children. "To her, it wasn’t egregious behaviour," the source said. "Was it entitled and perhaps selfish? Perhaps. But she didn’t see it as being a legal violation.”
Loughlin and Giannulli's not guilty plea will certainly complicate things for their influencer daughter, Olivia Jade, who has already lost a series of lucrative business deals and could also end up being a target for prosecutors herself. "If Olivia Jade knew and participated, she could face criminal liability," an attorney who specialises in crisis management told Refinery29 last week. "As long as charges against the parents are pending, the children are still vulnerable."
According to TMZ, it is still possible for Loughlin and Giannulli to accept a plea deal.