By Sasha Savitsky
Published April 09, 2019
Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted on fraud and money laundering charges Tuesday in the multimillion-dollar college admissions cheating scam that has ensnared dozens of wealthy parents trying to get their kids into the nation's most prestigious colleges.
The "Fuller House" star and her husband, along with 14 other parents, were charged in Boston in a "second superseding indictment with conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering," the Department of Justice said in a statement to Fox News.
Loughlin and Giannulli were charged last month with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The new indictment adds a money laundering charge for all 16 defendants.
Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew team recruits, even though neither of them played the sport.
A rep for Loughlin did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment. She and her husband appeared in a Boston federal court briefly last week and were not asked to enter a plea. The couple has not publicly commented on the allegations.
More than four dozen people have been charged in the nationwide scam, which is alleged to have placed students in top-tier schools like Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, the University of Southern California, UCLA and the University of Texas. A federal investigation into the matter – dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues" – has been ongoing for more than a year.
The move comes a day after fellow actress Felicity Huffman, 12 other parents and a coach agreed to plead guilty — signaling an escalation in the case against the parents who are continuing to fight the allegations against them.
On Monday, the "Desperate Housewives" actress announced her decision to plead guilty, explaining that she accepts "full responsibility" for her actions.
"I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney's Office," the "Desperate Housewives" alum said in a statement obtained by Fox News.
"I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions," Huffman continued. "I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.
"My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty," she concluded.
Prosecutors say they will seek a prison sentence that's on the low end of between four and 10 months for Huffman.