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It's been more than 14 months since (now-former) Fuller House and When Calls the Heart star Lori Loughlin was arrested along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli in connection with the highly controversial college entrance exams cheating scandal, but a justice-minded resolution is finally on the horizon. It's not necessarily positive for the aforementioned couple, however, as both Loughlin and Giannulli have reportedly agreed to plead guilty for their actions pertaining to the scandal. Their plea deals could arguably be more severe, but it's more than the slap on the wrist that people usually assume celebrities get.
On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts made the announcement (via NBC News) that Lori Loughlin will be pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Her fashion designer spouse Mossimo Giannulli, meanwhile, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
A federal judge will need to agree to sign off on the pair of plea deals in order for everything to be official. If that agreement happens, it looks like Lori Loughlin will be spending two months in prison, and she'll have to pay a $150,000 fine. On top of that, she'll be on a supervised release probation for two years once she's out, and she'll be responsible for performing 100 hours of community service.
Mossimo Giannuli's plea agreement, if approved, will be more than double the punishment than Lori Loughlin got. Giannulli would be spending five months in prison, with a $250,000 fine attached. Though he would also get the same two years of supervised release, that would come with 250 hours of community service.
Here's what U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement on the matter.
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. We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions.
It's strange to think back to the Fuller House episode where Lori Loughlin's Aunt Becky does end up behind bars for part of an episode. If only life's biggest issues could get wrapped up in 30 minutes like they do in a sitcom.
Unfortunately for Lori Loughlin, her 2019 arrest and ongoing troubles connecting her to the admissions scandal cost the actress her Fuller House job, even though she and her husband initially pled not guilty to the original charges. Those charged alleged that the couple "gifted" $500,000 to a USC foundation so that their daughters Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade would be accepted onto the school's rowing team, despite the fact that they had zero experience with rowing, and reportedly had no plans do actually show up for it.
Lori Loughlin also had ties severed with Hallmark, and her role was written out of the network's drama When Calls the Heart. The scandal did inspire a Lifetime original movie, perhaps ironically, with Mia Kirshner in the role inspired by Loughlin. Her daughters were allowed to remain at the school, though they also lost out on various business partnerships in the aftermath.
As of this moment, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli's follow-up court date(s) has not yet been set. Their original trial, prior the plea bargain news, was set for October 2020.