Things have gone from bad to worse for Lori Loughlin. Unfortunately for the Fuller House actress, her legal battle may get even more complicated in the coming weeks. Not only was she just hit with an additional charge of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, her daughters could potentially be charged for their own involvement in the ongoing college admissions case, as well.
“At a minimum the daughters will be witnesses in a trial against their parents, but they could also be charged as defendants," former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani explained to People. “The government has made it clear that they are going to keep increasing pressure on both Lori and Mossimo [Giannulli]. By not pleading [guilty], Lori and Mossimo are exposing their children to being charged.”
Loughlin, however, doesn't believe Olivia Jade Giannulli and Bella Giannulli are at risked of being charged. “If Lori had any indication that the girls were at risk, she’d want to plead guilty — even though she believes that she did nothing wrong," a source close to the actress said. "She is not going to let them spend time in jail for something that they didn’t do. Lori is a fantastic mother who would take the fall for the girls even if it cost her everything.”
Loughlin originally faced up to 40 years in prison if found guilty of the original charges set against her, including money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud. With the additional charge of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery added in, however, Loughlin could potentially add another 10 years to her sentence if she's found guilty. According to sources close to Loughlin and her family, they are not taking these new developments well.
“The entire family is in chaos right now,” an insider confessed to People. “They knew this was a possibility, but they thought perhaps it was just a bargaining tool from the prosecution. Now that the charges are official, they are realizing that there is no way to avoid a moderately long prison sentence, unless they are found not guilty in a trial.”
Loughlin's next court appearance will be on January 17, 2020.