Lori Loughlin: What Do New Charges in College Admissions Scandal Mean for 'Fuller House' Star?

Following the new that Lori Loughlin and her husband — Mossimo Giannulli — are facing new charges in the college admissions scandal, many are wondering what this could mean for the Fuller House star. According to ABC News, a grand jury in Boston returned new charges against 18 people, and the the celebrity parents are among them. The District of Massachusetts grand jury alleges that 11 defendants "conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California (USC) to facilitate their children's admission," according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

Now, Page Six speculates that the reason the federal governemnt pushed for more charges, could be an indicator that prosecutors are planning to slap harsher penalties on those defendants opting to fight their cases rather than making a plea deal.

In addition to the new bribery charges, seven university officials are facing new charges as wel, and have been identified as: Gordon Ernst, Donna Heinel, Jorge Salcedo, Mikaela Sanford, Jovan Vavic, Niki Williams and William Ferguson.

Per the Department of Justice statement, the individuals are accused of "conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, and honest services mail and wire fraud, in connection with the previously charged scheme to accept bribes and engage in other forms of fraud to facilitate cheating on standardized admissions tests and to secure the admission of students to elite universities by designating them as purported athletic recruits or members of other favored admissions categories."

Furthermore, the Department of Justice added that Ernst, Heinel, Salcedo, Sanford, Vavic and Williams are also facing "substantive wire and honest services wire fraud charges in connection with the schem. It was also later stated that Ernst, Heinel, and Salcedo additionally face new charges of "conspiring to commit federal programs bribery by soliciting and accepting bribes to facilitate the admission of students to the universities where they worked: Georgetown University, the University of Southern California, and The University of California – Los Angeles."

Loughlin and Giannulli are already facing charges of wire fraud and money laundering — which they have pleaded "not guilty" to — for allegedly paying $500,000 to have their two daughters assigned to the crew team at the University of Southern California, even though neither of them ever rowed crew.

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The new charges come as actress Felicity Huffman, who was also involved, is amidst her 14-day prison sentence, which was handed down after she pleaded guilty to her role in the scandal. She is expected to be released before Halloween.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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