On Friday, actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges stemming from the college cheating scandal, which rocked the nation last year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court hearing was done over Zoom.
The two were in separate rooms, each with their own attorney. It is unknown if they were in their lawyers’ offices or in their own home.
Though the judge has not accepted or rejected their plea deals, sentencing for Loughlin and Giannulli has been set for August 21.
If the judge signs off on the plea deal, Loughlin will serve two months of prison time, pay a $150,000 fine, perform 100 hours of community service, and be on two years of supervised release.
As part of Giannulli’s plea deal, he will serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine, perform 250 hours of community service, and be on two years of supervised release.
Before answering "guilty" to count one of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, Loughlin stated her name, age, and educational background. Giannulli also did the same before pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
As for why the couple decided to switch their pleas from not guilty to guilty after months of declaring their innocence, a source told E! News, “They are ready for it to be over with and to get on with their lives. This has ruled their lives and has been hanging over their heads for so long, it has really taken its toll.”
"They were feeling very concerned about the virus and jail sentences and they are hopeful the court will sentence them appropriately. They want to put this behind them and move on,” the insider continued. “They didn't want to endure the stress of a trial and continue dealing with this on a daily basis. It's time to move on and start over again. They don't know if the judge will sign off or delay their jail time. But they are hopeful and they know there is a chance they will start their sentences and be able to serve at home. They are waiting to find out."
According to court documents filed last year, Loughlin and Giannulli "agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC."
Loughlin and Giannulli were among 50 charged in the scandal last year. Nearly two dozen of the parents have pleaded guilty, including Felicity Huffman.
After pleading guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison, and was ordered to pay a $30,000 fine. She is also required to perform community service.
She served her prison time in October.
According to court documents last year, Huffman allegedly gave a “purported charitable contribution of $15,000... to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme,” which gave her daughter twice the amount of time to take the SAT, and a secret proctor corrected her answers afterwards. The document added, “Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so."