Lori Loughlin Reportedly 'Terrified' About New Charges in College Admissions Case

Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted earlier this year in the college admissions scandal for allegedly paying $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as crew recruits as USC despite the fact that neither of them rowed crew. The two did not accept a plea deal and were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

On Tuesday, new charges were brought against Loughlin and 10 other parents in the case, and Loughlin and Giannulli were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery. A source told PEOPLE that the couple is feeling even more pressure after the new charges were added, saying, "This stress is about to break them."

"They feel like this is David versus Goliath," the source said. "How do you go up against the federal government, when the government has decided to make an example out of you? How can you possibly move forward from this?"

"She is angry, she is sad, but most of all, she is terrified," the insider added of Loughlin. "It just gets worse and worse for her. And you have to remember: nothing new has happened. They could have charged her with all of this last spring. But they waited. She feels like she is a scapegoat."

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release this week that Loughlin, Gianulli and nine other defendants in the case "conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California (USC) to facilitate their children's admission." The 11 defendants were all charged with conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. Loughlin and Giannulli were previously facing a potential maximum of 40 years in prison and are currently awaiting trial.

U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling alleged in the third superseding indictment that the 11 parents conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California to ensure their children gained admission to the university. In return, the employees allegedly "designated the defendant's children as athletic recruits – with little or no regard for their athletic abilities – or as members of other favored admissions categories."

Loughlin and Giannulli reportedly used the sceheme to help their daughters, Isabella Rose Giannulli and Olivia Jade Giannulli, gain admission to the school. This week, USC announced that the Giannulli sisters are no longer attending the university, though it is unclear whether they dropped out or were removed.


In a statement to PEOPLE on Monday, the USC Registrar confirmed that "Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli are not currently enrolled," adding, "We are unable to provide additional information because of student privacy laws."

Photo Credit: Getty / Boston Globe