Lori Loughlin has finally agreed — after more than a year of maintaining her innocence — to plead guilty to her role in the college admissions scandal and will serve two months in prison, pending the court's approval. The actress' husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, has also agreed to plead guilty in the scandal — also known as Operation Varsity Blues — and will serve five months in federal prison. The couple will plead guilty in court on Friday at 11:30 a.m., the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Massachusetts tweeted.
The couple was indicted in March 2019 in the college admissions scandal for allegedly paying $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as crew recruits to the University of Southern California. Loughlin and Giannulli were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and in October, were also charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery. They did not initially accept a plea deal and pleaded not guilty to their initial charges as well as the new charges and were facing up to 45 years in prison.
The U.S. Department of Justice of Massachusetts announced on Thursday that the couple has ultimately agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges "in connection with securing the fraudulent admission of their two children to the University of Southern California as purported athletic recruits." Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
Loughlin and Giannulli, who are the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case, have also agreed to a sentence pending the court's approval. Loughlin's sentence includes two months in prison, a $150,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service while her husband's includes five months in prison, a $250,000 fine and two years of supervised release with 250 hours of community service. The couple was scheduled to go to trial in October and had recently joined a group of other indicted parents in trying to get the charges against them dropped.
"Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case," United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement on Thursday. "We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions."