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LORI LOUGHLIN’S DEFENSE: WE DIDN’T KNOW PAYING $500K WAS ILLEGAL

The two most prominent figures in the college admissions scandal, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, are taking completely opposite approaches to their legal case. While Huffman has pleaded guilty and issued a mea culpa that expressed "shame" and "regret" for allegedly shelling out $15K to ease her child’s way into college, Loughlin is pleading not guilty and claiming she had no idea what she was doing was untoward.

Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli plan to mount a defense saying that they had no idea that allegedly shelling out $500K to get their daughters Bella and Olivia Jade into University of Southern California was illegal, sources tell People.

"You read the complaint and they look like criminal masterminds," the source tells People. "But they really didn’t know the legalities of what was going on. They’re not lawyers and they’re not experts. They were parents who simply wanted to make sure that their daughters got into a good school."

One major issue, TMZ points out, is Giannulli sent $100K directly to an assistant athletic director, which may make it look like a straight-up bribe, instead of the less direct, but more technically legal horse-trading that often goes on at elite colleges. (I.e., parents fund a new school building, and their children get in).

OLIVIA AND LORI ARE SPEAKING AGAIN

Meanwhile, Instagram influencer Olivia Jade, who was reportedly on the outs with her mother over the scandal (Olivia Jade has been dropped from several lucrative sponsorship deals, including one with Sephora over the optics), is now speaking to her mom again.

"Olivia was angry with her parents at first, but now realizes that they were just trying to do what’s best for her," a source tells Us Weekly. "Olivia loves her mom and dad very much, but is especially close with Lori."

Loughlin and Giannulli are reportedly facing 20-40 years behind bars, while Huffman may be looking at a year thanks to her plea deal and the smaller transaction.