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Why Lori Loughlin’s ‘Only Choice’ Was to Plead Not Guilty in College Admissions Cheating Scandal

Lori Loughlin

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This Monday, news broke that Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were pleading not guilty in the college admissions cheating case. People got details on what exactly they were thinking…and how they were more or less forced to take this route.

For context, Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to make their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella appear as rowing team recruits to guarantee the girls’ admission to USC. At maximum, the couple faces 40 years in prison each with the charges they’re currently indicted on; at minimum, they face four years and nine months, according to TMZ.

Loughlin and Giannulli could have had substantially less jail time—and no new money laundering charge (which carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence alone)—had they taken a plea deal last week. But People‘s source said that Loughlin just didn’t get how much trouble she was in.

“She probably should have taken the deal, but at the time, she didn’t really realize how serious the charges were,” the outlet’s source said. “More than that, I think she and her lawyers underestimated how motivated the prosecution was. So she didn’t plead, and then they hit her with another charge. Now she’s willing to negotiate, but the prosecution says that the deal is off the table. So the only choice they’ve got is to plead not guilty. That’s all they can do.”

TMZ reported earlier today that its source told them that a plea bargain “was still on the table,” even after Loughlin and her husband sent documents this morning announcing their intent to plead not guilty.

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