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Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli plead guilty in college admissions scandal

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy charges leveled against them as part of an investigation into a large-scale college bribery admissions scandal.

Authorities last year accused Giannulli and Loughlin, who is best known for her portrayal of Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House” and its sequel “Fuller House,” of agreeing to pay $500,000 in bribes to have their daughters labeled as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, though neither participated in the sport.

Several other parents, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, were also arrested and accused of participating in the bribery scheme.

Update 1:15 p.m. EDT May 22: Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty to participating in a college admissions bribery scheme to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California during a video hearing held Friday.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said during the hearing that he will decide later on whether to accept the pleas, according to The Associated Press.

In a plea agreement reached by prosecutors, Loughlin agreed to serve two months in prison while Giannulli agreed to serve five months.

Original report: Justice Department officials said Loughlin, 55, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud while Giannulli, 56, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.

In a plea agreement, prosecutors said Loughlin agreed to serve two months in prison followed by two years of supervised released. Authorities said she will be fined $150,000 and be required to serve 100 hours of community service.

In his plea agreement, Giannulli agreed to serve five months in prison followed by two years of supervised release. He will also be fined $250,000 and be required to serve 250 hours of community service.

Loughlin and Giannulli were among more than 50 people, including 34 parents, to be charged last year with participating in the large-scale admissions scheme. Prosecutors said the parents involved paid admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer to bribe college coaches and rig test scores to get their children into elite universities. The scandal also led to the arrests of “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman, who subsequently pleaded guilty to her part in the scheme.

Authorities said Huffman paid at least $15,000 to rig her eldest daughter’s college entrance exam and disguised the payment as a charitable donation. In October, Huffman served 14 days in a federal prison in California for the crime.

Authorities said the college admissions scandal was the biggest ever prosecuted by the Justice Department, with a total of 51 people charged.

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