Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli Are Reportedly Flipping out After Being Called 'Cheaters'

Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are reportedly not happy with the backlash surrounding their involvement in the college admissions cheating scandal.

After the couple pleaded not guilty on charges related to the scandal, new reports say the actress and the fashion designer are not pleased with how the case is being perceived.

"This is putting unspeakable stress on her and her family," a source told PEOPLE. "They're having to play this all out publicly, and they're fair game for jokes and memes, but also outraged [by] people who are saying that they are cheaters."

"They're being destroyed," the source added.

The pair made headlines Monday after they pleaded not guilty to mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges. A previous report said Loughlin and Giannulli felt their plea was the only option after they rejected a a deal from prosecutors last week.

Their not guilty plea, however, opens the couple to the possibility of facing trial.

"The idea of going to trial is terrifying for Lori," the source close to the actress added. "Everything comes out in trial, whether or not it's relevant to the case. She will be under a microscope, and you only have to look at the paparazzi outside the court to know that there is widespread interest in this case. She will lose every bit of her privacy, and that's a shame. This really is a family matter."

If convicted, Loughlin and Giannulli could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.

The scandal news first surfaced March 12, after the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts announced the indictment of 50 people, including Loughlin, Giannulli and actress Felicity Huffman, for their involvement in the bribery scheme.

Huffman agreed to plea guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to falsely designate their daughters as recruits to the University of Southern California's crew team to secure admission.

1comments

As previously reported, the possibility of facing time behind bars has left Loughlin shaken, despite the scandal leading her to get fired from Hallmark Channel series When Calls the Heart and any future appearances on the final season of Netflix's Fuller House.

"She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by," a source told E! News. "She refused to accept any jail time and thought the DA was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn't do any jail time."