Prosecutors are adding a tacking on a new charge to Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannull in the college admissions cheating scandal case. TMZ reports that the U.S. Attorney out of Boston “just filed a charge called Federal Program Bribery. Translation: prosecutors say Lori bribed officials of a university that receives federal funding.”
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 to make it appear that their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella were rowing team recruits to guarantee their admission to the University of Southern California. (The girls are no longer enrolled there, USC revealed yesterday.)
TMZ reports the new bribery charge carries a 5-year maximum sentence. As it is, Loughlin and Giannulli were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering and faced a 40-year maximum jail sentence.
But the possibility of them getting any major jail time may not be that high. Prosecutors are also once again open to working on a plea deal with them after Felicity Huffman got a 14-day jail sentence, way shorter than the one-month sentence the prosecutors hoped she would get. (Huffman accepted a plea deal.)
According to TMZ, prosecutors under that “the probation department and the judge who heard Felicity’s case are not sympathetic to long sentences, because in their view no one really lost anything because of the alleged parental misdeeds.”
Loughlin was initially resistant to a plea deal. A source told People last week that Loughlin still hopes she’ll be exonerated of all wrong doing, noting she’s very invested in how Huffman fares in jail.
“She’s definitely hoping that Felicity’s time in prison will go easy for her, because that will be a positive sign that, if Lori has to serve time, that she’ll be able to weather it as well,” the source said. “Of course, it’s still very important for her to be exonerated of all charges against her. She still maintains her innocence, and hopes it won’t come to that. But if she does end up serving time in prison, she wants to know what she’s getting into.”