Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Massimo Giannulli have plead not guilty to charges filed against them in the college admissions scandal. After refusing to take a plea deal when she first appeared before a judge last week, Loughlin found herself charged with the additional crimes of money laundering as well as conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Those two charges carry a possible maximum jail sentence of 20 years in prison each.
According to NBC both Loughlin and Giannulli waived their right to appear in court for their arraignment and had their lawyers submit their not guilty plea. This means that the actress and her husband won't be required to appear in person in court in Boston unless specifically ordered by a judge to appear.
NBC legal analyst Ari Melber explained to the TODAY Show the severity of the new charges that Loughlin and Giannulli are facing. "The money laundering is very serious,'' Melber explained on the show. "They are in a much worse position than what they were dealing with when it was just cheating, which is serious but not as heavy a charge as money laundering."
CNN states there is a fair amount of evidence against both Loughlin and Giannulli with regards to the charges brought against them, including "evidence from a cooperating witness, emails, bank records and a recorded phone call with each parent." The couple are accused of paying more than $500,000 in bribes to secure admission for their daughters Isabella and Olivia Jade to the University of Southern California, with the criminal complaint alleging that Giannulli sent “action shots” of his daughters using rowing machines as a means to convince others they were legitimate members of the crew team.
Both Loughlin and her daughter Olivia Jade have been affected both personally and professionally by the cheating scandal. Loughlin was fired from her role on Hallmark's series When Calls the Heart as well as the hit Netflix series Fuller House, after charges were filed against her.
Olivia Jade, a very popular YouTube personality, influencer, and entrepreneur has also lost brand partnerships and lucrative business deals in the wake of the scandal.
Loughlin and Giannulli have yet to speak publicly about the charges brought against them.