This college admissions scandal just keeps getting more intense! When the news first broke, most of us thought that the high-profile actresses caught in Operation Varsity Blues–Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin–would just get a slap on the wrist.
Now, it looks like Huffman may serve a few months in jail. For Loughlin, the news is much, much worse.
On Monday, we found out that Felicity Huffman chose to plead guilty and accept a reduced minimum sentence of up to 4 months. Huffman was caught paying around $15,000 to have her daughter’s weak SAT scores adjusted.
Although a wiretap proved that she and hubby William H. Macy considered pulling a similar scam to help their other daughter get into college, they ended up not going through with it. That’s likely why Macy escaped any criminal charges.
For Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, the situation was more serious from the beginning. They allegedly paid half a million dollars to get their daughters into USC. The amount of money involved meant that they faced a much tougher minimum sentence of 2 years in jail if they accepted a plea bargain.
Maybe Loughlin didn’t realize just how bad the consequences would be. Maybe she’s convinced she can charm the jury. For whatever reason, she chose not to accept the plea deal. And now she and her husband have both been indicted for the much more serious charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Each charge comes with a maximum sentence of 20 years–one charge for each of their daughters. Even if they chose to strike a deal with prosecutors now, the additional charges mean that instead of 2 years in prison, they’re looking at 4-5 years.
The money laundering part of the scam involves Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the college admissions scam, funneling the payments from these wealthy parents through a fake charity.
It likely won’t help her case that Loughlin has been smiling and waving outside the courthouse–and even signing autographs. The family drama between social media influencer Olivia Jade and her parents has played out in the tabloids, making the family seem less sympathetic.
Instead of owning up to what she did, Loughlin’s camp has been feeding People quotes about how the former Hallmark star has been relying on her faith, yoga, and lunch dates with her friends to get through this trying time.
Meanwhile, Huffman and Macy have mostly kept their heads down and avoided being papped. Their daughter, Sofia, has remained completely out of the public eye despite the scandal. Huffman also expressed what seems like sincere remorse and accepted the punishment.
It’s likely that Huffman will serve only a token amount of time in prison. Then she’ll do a round of talk show appearances and score a high-profile TV role. Her life–and her career–will probably be okay.
Loughlin, however, may be facing a much different future. If she’s found guilty, she and her husband aren’t likely to get the maximum sentence. But they could face years in prison. They won’t find it nearly as easy to bounce back.