Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin made brief appearances in federal court on Wednesday and did not enter pleas, meaning that for now their cases are moving toward a trial in the widespread college admissions cheating scandal.
Both actresses, who have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, waived their preliminary hearings during five-minute appearances before Magistrate Judge Mary Page Kelley in Boston.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A plea deal is still a possibility, but there has been no public sign that either actress has or will take one.
Neither actress offered any comment to reporters while entering the courthouse.
Loughlin, who was released on a $1 million bond in March, appeared cheerful and relaxed as she signed autographs for fans ahead of her appearance, and smiled for the crowd. She also was the only one who shook hands with federal prosecutors among the 12 parents charged in the scheme who appeared in court Wednesday.
She was accompanied by her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who also has been charged.
Huffman's husband, actor William H. Macy, has not been charged and was not present in court.
The parents who appeared in court agreed to give up their passports and not leave the country without permission. The judge also granted them the latitude to discuss the case with family members, including their children, who could potentially be called as witnesses.
Loughlin and Giannulli's two daughters, Isabella Giannulli and younger sister Olivia Giannulli, both remain enrolled at the University of Southern California amid the scandal. Their parents have been accused of paying $500,000 to get them into USC as elite rowers, even though neither has ever participated in the sport.
Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 to arrange for someone to cheat on her daughter's SAT exam to boost her score.
Loughlin has already been dropped by the Hallmark Channel and also will not appear on the fifth season of Netflix's "Fuller House," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Huffman has upcoming roles on Netflix projects that were shot before the scandal went public.
"The future for these actresses as lifestyle gurus or branding opportunities, that's over, but in terms of will they ever work again as actresses, I think there is a path back,'' The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni said on TODAY Thursday.