Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin could face time in prison for their involvement in a college admission cheating scam.
More than 50 people, including the Desperate Housewives and Fuller House stars, were indicted for taking part in paying bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into ivy league and upscale colleges.
"Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states and charged in documents unsealed on March 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston," the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts said in a press release to PEOPLE.
Atlantic City legal expert James J. Leonard Jr. told the publication that the actresses have a possibility of spending time in prison for their crime.
"This is a federal prosecution brought forth by the Department of Justice that carries with it potential life-altering consequences for those involved. The stakes could not be higher," he said. "A custodial term is always a possibility when you are charged with felonies. The question to ask is if it's a probability, and in this case I don’t see it as a probability with respect to the parents involved."
Huffman, who is reportedly already under federal custody, allegedly gave $15,000 to "participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter," according to the indictment.
Loughlin, who is expected to surrender to police Tuesday, allegedly gave $500,000 to falsely claim her child was part of the rowing team. Her husband Mossimo Giannulli has also been implicated in the scandal and was arrested Tuesday morning.
The U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI claimed in the indictment that the alleged scheme helped students gain acceptance to top schools, such as Yale and University of Southern California, by helping them cheat on college exams.
Federal agents reportedly obtained email evidence implicating Loughlin in the scam.0comments
The controversy centers around a man named William Rick Singer, who ran an admission consultancy company called Edge College and Career Network LLC. He is accused of facilitating the bribes, collecting money from parents and giving it to the people who could help with admission.
Singer is expected to plead guilty to the charges, facing a maximum sentence of up to 65 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He will also have to pay approximately $1.45 million in fines.