Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli haven’t entered a plea in the college admissions scandal. Now, the couple has been hit with more charges as prosecutors pressure the couple to avoid a jury trial.
Lori Loughlin, 55, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, 56, have been hit with fresh charges in the college admissions scandal case. The Fuller House star was slapped with conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery on Oct. 22 after she was previously charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud charges. The disgraced actress and her entrepreneur husband have failed to agree to a plea deal with prosecutors. However, HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Joseph B. Simons, Massachusetts state criminal attorney, who explained that the added charges are likely to pressure Lori and Mossimo to enter a plea deal.
“The new charges against Lori and Mossimo were almost certainly lodged to add pressure,” Simons explained. “Federal prosecutors are used to defendants pleading guilty. These are high profile cases, and the prosecution may be adding charges in an effort to pressure Lori and Mossimo into pleading guilty. The additional charges also give more leverage to the prosecutors, who can use them as bargaining chips.”
However, these additional charges may not affect Lori’s sentencing at all.“Surprisingly, the additional charges might not have much of an impact on the length of a prison sentence,” Simons said. “If the allegations underlying the new indictments are similar enough to the previous charges, the sentencing guidelines are not duplicative. This means that if, for example, one charge carries a guidelines range of five to six years, and someone is charged with multiple indictments that are substantially similar, the guidelines range would still be five to six years.”
Although Lori and Mossimo have not entered a plea deal yet, Simons explained that option is still available to the couple. “Yes they can still plead guilty. They’re allowed to plead guilty all the way up until the trial starts. However, judges usually look more favorably when people ‘accept responsibility’ earlier in a case.”
Meanwhile, Lori and Mossimo’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 17 at 11:00 a.m. EST. This date is scheduled for a status conference but neither Lori nor Mossimo are required to attend. A status conference is a court-ordered meeting with the judge where they decide the date of the trial and/or to get updated information on Lori for ongoing conditions.
The pair received the additional charges along with her husband of 21 years and 14 other parents. It’s alleged that Lori and Mossimo — who share daughters Isabella, 20, and Olivia Jade, 19 — “agreed to a pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to court documents.