Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are both facing serious prison time as a result of the college admissions bribery scandal. A lawyer explains why the ‘Full House’ star could receive a harsher punishment.
After appearing in federal court in Boston on April 3, it’s now up to actresses Lori Loughlin, 54, and Felicity Huffman, 57, to decide whether they want to enter a guilty plea or take their chances at trial for their alleged involvement in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Either way, prosecutors are pushing for jail time. Brad Bailey, a Boston criminal defense attorney EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife.com that “According to my calculations based on the separate allegations against both actresses, applicable federal sentencing tables call for a sentencing range of between 21-27 months for Felicity and between 37-46 months for Lori.”
The amount of money the women allegedly spent to give their daughters a leg up into college is what makes Lori’s possible sentence more harsh if the ladies plea out their cases. “If the allegation is a $15,000 fraud for Felicity, then 21 to 27 months is the applicable sentencing range that will be reflected in her plea agreement. However, if it’s $500,000 for Lori, the range I gave you for her will be set forth in her plea agreement.”
“However, because the federal sentencing guidelines are advisory, this does not mean those are the sentences they will receive; they could be lower or higher,” Bailey continues. “Even though Lori and Felicity face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted, they will not receive sentences anywhere close to that. In fraud and most federal financial crimes cases, the applicable sentence is determined by the amount of intended financial loss or gain,” Bailey explains. Both women are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Felicity stands accused of paying a college prep test organization $15,000 to insure that her daughter Sofia Grace Macy, 18, got to take extra time on her SAT test, then had a proctor change incorrect answers to boost the teen’s score by over 400 points. Lori and husband Massimo Giannulli are accused paying $500,000 in bribes to coaches at USC in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team to secure their admission to the university, even though neither Isabella, 20, or Olivia Jade, 19, were athletes.
So what happens if the women agree to plead guilty in their respective cases? “While most guilty pleas are memorialized in a written plea agreement (signed by both sides), in all likelihood any plea agreement in Lori’s and Felicity’s cases will, among other things, set forth the applicable sentencing range and the government’s likely sentencing recommendation,” Bailey tells us.