Lori Loughlin appears in court for hearing in college admissions scandal

The former "Full House" star and her husband appeared in federal court for a hearing about a potential conflict of interest in the widespread college admissions scandal.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli appeared in federal court in Boston Tuesday for a hearing about a potential conflict of interest in the latest development in the widespread college admissions scandal.

Prosecutors contended that the former "Full House" star and her husband being represented by the law firm Latham & Watkins is a potential conflict of interest because the firm has recently represented the University of Southern California, where the couple's daughters have been enrolled.

The judge on Tuesday said she'd allow Latham & Watkins to continue to represent Loughlin and Giannulli. However, she said she'd rule at a later hearing on a potential conflict with another firm representing the couple as well as other defendants in the case.

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Lori Loughlin and her husband leave court after their hearing.Philip Marcelo / AP

Loughlin and Giannulli have been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud after allegedly paying $500,000 to fraudulently get their two daughters admitted to USC.

The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges in April and appear closer to a trial in which both could face years of prison time if convicted.

They are part of a group of 34 parents who have been charged in the scandal in which wealthy parents used a service run by William "Rick" Singer involving alleged bribes and other fraudulent activity to get their children admitted into top universities.

More than a dozen parents who have been charged, including "Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman, have accepted plea deals.

Huffman pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, issuing a tearful apology in court. She is set to be sentenced next month, and her guilty plea includes the possibility of four to 10 months in prison.

By pleading not guilty, Loughlin and Giannulli turned down a deal that would have recommended reduced prison time.

The couple's daughters, Bella Giannulli, 20, and Olivia Giannulli, 19, broke their social media silence last month to wish Loughlin a happy 55th birthday.

Olivia, a social media influencer who lost sponsorships in the wake of the scandal, also posted a defiant Instagram photo earlier this month in which she is giving the middle finger, tagging the post to various media outlets.