Lori Loughlin and husband plead not guilty in college admissions scandal

The "Fuller House" actress is pleading not guilty to federal charges for her alleged role in the college admissions cheating scandal.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband are pleading not guilty to charges related to the widespread college admissions cheating scandal, according to a federal court filing Monday.

The "Fuller House" star and husband Mossimo Giannulli waived their rights to appear in court for their arraignment following indictment on a charge of money laundering along with conspiracy to commit mail fraud after allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes to help their two daughters get admitted into the University of Southern California.

Actress Lori Loughlin is pleading not guilty to a pair of charges related to a college admissions cheating scandal. Getty Images

Monday's court filing means Loughlin, who is free on bail, will not have to go back to court in Boston in the near future unless the judge orders an in-person arraignment, according to Tom Winter of NBC News.

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Loughlin and Giannulli are among 16 parents who were hit with a new charge of money laundering last week.

In the new charge, prosecutors said the parents funneled money through a purported charity and for-profit corporation, and transferred funds from outside of the country "for the purpose of promoting the fraud scheme." The guidelines for sentencing vary depending on the amount of the alleged bribes.

"The money laundering is very serious,'' NBC legal analyst Ari Melber said on TODAY last week. "They are in a much worse position than what they were dealing with when it was just cheating, which is serious but not as heavy a charge as money laundering."

Loughlin was terminated last month by the Hallmark Channel, where she had starred in the "Garage Sale Mysteries" films and the drama series "When Calls the Heart."

The latter show has been on hiatus since the charges against Loughlin became public, but show star Erin Krakow announced on Instagram Sunday that not only is the show returning in May, it has been renewed for season seven next year.

Felicity Huffman, another high-profile actress indicted in the scheme, agreed to plead guilty last week. The former "Desperate Housewives" star admitted she paid at least $15,000 to arrange for a proctor to change answers on her eldest daughter’s SAT. Melber said on TODAY that Huffman will most likely face "little, if any" jail time.