Maybe it was because her crime was more egregious. Or that she shelled out more money than the other parents involved in Operation Varsity Blues. Or maybe it was because she unapologetically grinned outside the court in Boston. Whatever the reason, a U.S. prosecutor has warned actress Lori Loughlin that she is going to get a harsher sentence than Felicity Huffman in the wide ranging college admissions scandal.
Huffman, the former star of "Desperate Housewives," pleaded guilty to having paid Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the college cheating controversy, $15,000 to fix her daughter's SAT test. In September, Massachusetts Federal Judge Indira Talwani sentenced Huffman to just 14 days in prison and ordered her to pay $30,000 in fines and to perform 250 hours of community service.
That's partly because Huffman not only pled guilty, but she did so with an apology in hand and tears in her eyes. She begged her daughter to forgive her for her foolishness.
"My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her," Huffman said in a statement in April. "This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty."
On the other hand, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of shelling out $500,000 to get their daughters into USC, maintain their innocence and have rejected a plea deal. With that attitude, Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said the pair should prepare for a much longer jail time.
“If she is convicted, we would probably ask for a higher sentence for her than we did for Felicity Huffman. I can’t tell you what that would be,” Lelling told WCVB this weekend.
What that could mean, the Los Angeles Times reports, is up to 40 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
Lelling urged Loughlin to reconsider her stubbornness.
“If it is after trial, we would ask for something substantially higher. If she resolved it before trial, something lower than that,” he warned.
Loughlin has already lost some of her major acting roles because of the scandal, including a star turn on the Hallmark Channel. The cast of Fuller House has also been rather quiet as to how the show plans to address Aunt Becky's storyline, if at all.