Actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are both headed to prison under the terms of the plea agreement they are expected to take with federal prosecutors for their connection to a widespread college admission scandal.
Under the terms of their agreement, the former "Full House" star and her fashion designer husband are each expected to do less than six months in prison for admitting to paying $500,000 and passing off their two daughters as crew recruits to get them admitted to the University of Southern California.
In the separate plea deals, which need to be signed off on by a federal judge, Loughlin will go to prison for two months, perform 100 hours of community service and be subject to two years of supervised release and a $150,000 fine. Loughlin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
Giannulli will go to prison for five months with 250 hours of community service, two years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, according to his agreement. He is expected to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud, authorities said.
“Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case," U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement.
The plea deals taken by the couple almost certainly avoided longer prison sentences than if they had gone to trial and been found guilty. Lelling, the lead federal prosecutor in the case, said in October he would seek longer sentences for the two if they lost a trial.
"The longer the case goes, let's say (Loughlin) goes through trial,'' he told local Boston station WCVB at the time. "If it is after trial, we would ask for something substantially higher. If she resolved it before trial, something lower than that."
Lawyers for Loughlin and Giannulli argued in March to have the case thrown out, saying that FBI investigators concealed evidence that would have helped parents' claims of innocence, but a federal judge refused to dismiss the charges earlier this month.
The prison sentences for Loughlin and Giannulli are similar to those of other parents who entered guilty pleas for their roles in the scandal.
Business executive Devin Sloane received a four-month prison sentence in September after pleading guilty to paying a $250,000 bribe to get his son into the USC. Stephen Semprevivo, a Los Angeles businessman who paid $400,000 to get his son into Georgetown as a fake tennis recruit, was also sentenced to four months in prison in September.
Hot Pocketsheiress Michelle Janavs was sentenced to five months in prison in February for pleading guilty to paying scheme mastermind Rick Singer $300,000 to get her daughters into USC.
Prosecutors have also asked for a two-year sentence for a college exam proctor who pleaded guilty in November to accepting nearly $200,000 in bribes to allow cheating on SAT and ACT tests as part of the scandal.