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Lori Loughlin reportedly believes she did nothing that any other wealthy mom wouldn't do in college admissions scandal


'She didn't see it as being a legal violation'

Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Actress Lori Loughlin refused to accept a plea deal and believes she has done nothing that any other mother in her financial situation would do in the college admissions scandal, a source close to the actress reportedly told People magazine.

"From the beginning, she didn't want to take a deal, because she felt that she hadn't done anything that any mom wouldn't have done, if they had the means to do so," the unnamed source said, according to the report. "To her, it wasn't egregious behavior. Was it entitled and perhaps selfish? Perhaps. But she didn't see it as being a legal violation."

The "Full House" actress, along with her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly paid about $500,000 in bribes to ensure their daughters, Isabella Rose Giannulli, 20, and Olivia Jade Giannulli, 19, were accepted to the University of Southern California, according to prosecutors. Coaches falsely recruited the girls as athletes to the university's crew team. Neither of the girls participated in the sport.

"It's just taking some time for it to sink in that what she was allegedly doing could be considered illegal," the source said, according to the magazine.

The couple is among some 50 wealthy people who were charged last month in the biggest college admissions cheating scandal ever prosecuted in the U.S.

What has happened since the charges?

Last week, Loughlin and her husband appeared for a brief hearing in a federal court in Boston.

The couple has rejected all plea deals that would result in jail time. Each faced 18 to 24 years behind bars if found guilty of their crimes.

"They weren't ready to accept that," the source, who is familiar with the legal discussions in the case, told People. "They're really not seeing how serious this is."

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors slapped Loughlin and her husband with additional charges of money laundering. Each additional indictment could land them in jail for up to an additional 20 years.

And the reality has begun to sink in.

"They were offered the carrot and the stick," the source told People. "The carrot was that this can all go away and you can serve your time and put it behind you. Remember, they were facing 20 years, even before the latest charges. The stick was that [the prosecution] would and could pile on more serious charges."

Now, they're trying to determine their next move.

"They decided to roll the dice, and it may have been a bad gamble. Now they're in worse shape than before," the source said.

But Loughlin's chances of negotiating a plea bargain with little jail time have likely faded.

"Obviously, the deal, if any, will be different than if she had taken a deal a week ago [before the latest charge]," the source continued. "She's a smart woman and she realizes that. But she is amenable to discussing how to put this behind everyone now. She's ready for this to go away."

The couple remains free on bail.

What else?

Actress Felicity Huffman, who was also charged, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

"I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community," Huffman said in a statement. "I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly."

The "Desperate Wives" actress faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines. She's expected to appear in court May 21.

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