Lori Loughlin's college admissions scandal sentence will likely be harsher than Felicity Huffman's: US Attorney
Lori Loughlin will likely face a tougher sentence than Felicity Huffman if convicted for her role in the college admissions scandal.
Less than one month after Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, told WCVB in Boston that Loughlin may find herself in more trouble than her fellow actress for her part in the scandal that's swept up many wealthy parents.
“We will probably ask for a higher sentence for [Loughlin] than we did for Felicity Huffman,” Lelling told the show’s hosts in a recent interview. “I can’t tell you what that would be.”
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Huffman, 56, pleaded guilty in May and accepted responsibility for her actions. Meanwhile, Loughlin, 55, plans to fight the charges against her and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, 56, which Lelling notes may not work out in her favor.
“It just happened to be that Ms. Huffman was probably the least culpable of the defendants who we’ve charged in that case,” he said. “She took responsibility almost immediately, she was contrite, did not try to minimize her conduct. I think she handled it in a very classy way.”
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“At the end of the day, we thought the one month was proportional,” he said of prosecutors’ initial sentence recommendation for Huffman. “I think the two weeks that she actually got was also reasonable. We were happy with that. I think it was a thoughtful sentence.”
Lelling concluded by noting that Huffman’s prison sentence sends a clear message to others involved with the case that even the least-culpable defendant is serving some time behind bars.
Huffman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud earlier this year. She confessed to paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to have a proctor correct her older daughter's answers on the SAT. She considered the same for her younger daughter but decided against it.
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In addition to having to self-report to prison on Oct. 25, she also received one year of probation, was ordered to perform 250 hours of community service and pay a $30,000 fine.
Meanwhile, Loughlin, 55, and her husband were accused of paying $500,000 to alleged scam mastermind William "Rick" Singer to get their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella recruited onto the University of Southern California's crew team despite neither girl ever being a rower. USC put the girls' enrollment statuses on hold amid an internal investigation into the scandal.
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The pair rejected the plea deal that other parents allegedly involved in the case – including Huffman – accepted. Giannulli, 56, and Loughlin then were hit with additional charges of money laundering and conspiracy and would face up to 40 years behind bars if convicted on all charges.
Fox News' Jessica Sager contributed to this report.