The pressure is on for Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli to change their plea to guilty in the college admissions case. Prosecutors were threatening to add charges in the case if accused parents don't agree to cop a plea. The threats of new charges turned into a reality on Tuesday when the pair and a dozen other parents were hit with new bribery charges. Experts say the new charges show that the prosecutors mean business, and will be pursuing more serious charges.
In all, 29 of the 52 charged have pleaded guilty and sentences have ranged from probation to five months behind bars. Some of the pleas have been trickling in in recent days, with four additional parents agreeing to plead guilty on Monday. Loughlin's Hollywood cohort Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 2 weeks behind bars for the relatively lighter crime of shelling out $15K to juice her daughter's SAT scores, while Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly spent $500K to bribe their daughters' way into University of Southern California.
Previously U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters: "If (Loughlin) is convicted, I don't think I'm giving away any state secrets by saying we would probably ask for a higher sentence for her than we did for Felicity Huffman. The longer the case goes, let's say she goes through to trial. If it's after trial, I think certainly we'd be asking for something substantially higher. If she resolved her case short of trial, something a little lower than that. It's tough to tell at this point."
CBS reports that some parents have learned that prosecutors are considering adding charges of federal bribery to the current charges.
Separately, the USC Registrar told USA Today that Loughlin's daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose are no longer enrolled at the school.