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Lori Loughlin is reportedly “freaking out” about the possibility of receiving jail time in her college admissions bribery case, one source told E! News.
“Lori is finally realizing just how serious this is,” the source told the news organization. “She is seeing the light that she will do jail time and is freaking out.”
Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are among 16 parents who were indicted on an additional felony charge of money laundering conspiracy earlier this week, now making it possible she could serve up to 40 years in prison.
“She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by,” the source said. “She refused to accept any jail time and thought the DA was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn’t do any jail time.”
A legal source close the case told People that prosecutors are seeking jail time for Loughlin—and 40 other parents in the case including fellow actress Felicity Huffman, who agreed to plead guilty to the charges against her earlier this week—to send a message that wealth won’t prevent them from facing the consequences of their alleged activities.
“They want to make sure everyone is equal in the eyes of the law,” the legal source said.
Loughlin and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as recruits of the USC crew team despite never having done crew.
Huffman, along with 12 other parents and one coach, agreed to plead guilty earlier this week, but Loughlin and her husband refused.
Rikki Klieman, a legal analyst for CBS News, said Huffman’s agreement could be a “very bad sign” for Loughlin.
“If you go forward and fight this case you really could wind up with a sentence that is a lot of time in prison,” she said. “By having all these guilty pleas at one time … it’s to send a message out there to the remaining defendants that you better get in here and you better get in here quick.”
Loughlin largely has stayed out of the public eye since the charges were announced, spending most of her time in the couple’s 12,000 square-foot mansion.
Those close to the television star, who first rose to fame as Aunt Becky in “Full House,” said she’s been trying to keep herself busy by going to her yoga classes and meeting friends for lunch.
The allegations have already cost her financially. On March 14, Hallmark announced they were severing all ties with Loughlin, who regularly starred in several on-going series and holiday movies for the channel.
One source told E News! it has become a “terrible nightmare” for the couple and two grown daughters.
“Their lives will never be the same,” the source said.
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