Now that actress Felicity Huffman has been given a sentence that includes 14 days in prison for her participation in the college admissions scandal, actress Lori Loughlin reportedly now regrets not taking the plea deal when she had the chance.
As reported by Fox News, a source close to Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, told People that the two are now reflecting on the significance of Huffman’s sentence.
“Lori is aware of Felicity’s sentence and is processing what that means for her,” the source said. “Her only move now is to take this to court and to prove that she is not guilty of what she’s charged with.”
“This has been a rough day,” the source continued. “Lori is going to move forward as best as she can, but now she has a little more clarity about what will happen next.”
This past April, Loughlin and her husband waived their right to appear in court for an arraignment and simply pled not guilty against charges of mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy in the college bribery scam. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston charged them 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.”
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly worked in concert with William “Rick” Singer to bribe college officials and rig the entrance exams so that their children could be accepted into elite universities. If convicted, the pair could face up to 40 years in prison.
The source told People that Lori Loughlin and her husband certainly face jail time if they fail to beat these charges, adding that they now “regret” not taking the plea deal. However, Lori believes that she did nothing illegal in the first place.
“If she’s found guilty, she will go to jail; that is clear. And if another deal is offered to her, which I don’t think it will be, she will go to jail,” the source said. “Her only chance of avoiding jail is to beat these charges. Lori is a smart woman; she understands that. She’s scared and upset, but she’s resolved to be strong and to fight this. She will do what she has to do to protect herself and her family.”
“She didn’t understand the entire nature of the charges against her, and she wasn’t even sure if or how she had broken the law. It was very early, and she didn’t have all the information that she has now,” the source continued. “Based on what she understood at the time, she made the best choice for herself. Now there is no deal on the table, and she has to have faith that the courts and the prosecution will move fairly and not make an example out of her.”
Basically, Loughlin and her husband’s strategy is to plead ignorance. However, attorney Neama Rahmani told Fox News that will likely not hold up in court.
“The government doesn’t have to prove that Loughlin and Giannulli knew what the payments were used for,” said Rahmani. “The fraudulent application to USC is enough to support the conspiracy charges. And there is more than enough circumstantial evidence to prove that they knew the payments were for an illicit or unlawful purpose.”