clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Felicity Huffman sentencing could change Lori Loughlin’s plea, according to experts

Legal experts told Business Insider that Huffman’s sentence might influence whether or not Loughlin changes her plea.

This combination photo shows actress Lori Loughlin in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2018, left, and actress Felicity Huffman at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, 2018. Loughlin and Huffman are among 33 parents indicted in a sweeping college
This combination photo shows actress Lori Loughlin in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2018, left, and actress Felicity Huffman at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, 2018. Loughlin and Huffman are among 33 parents indicted in a sweeping college
AP

Felicity Huffman will be the first celebrity parent in the college admissions scandal to receive a sentence Friday, and experts told Business Insider that her sentence could change how Lori Loughlin approaches her case moving forward.

Huffman is one of dozens of parents, including Loughlin, accused in the college admissions scandal. Huffman pleaded guilty to fraud charges in May, saying she paid $15,000 to have an SAT proctor fix her daughter’s SAT scores so she could get into college.

Prosecutors are looking for Huffman to spend between one and four months in jail, according to multiple reports. But Huffman’s attorneys asked for her to receive a year of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine, according to the Deseret News.

“Huffman [pleaded guilty] early, when everyone else was pleading not guilty, requesting discovery, trying to mount a defense,” Louis Shapiro, a federal defense attorney in Los Angeles, told Insider. “She’s going to be rewarded for that.”

There’s been some debate from judges about how to determine sentencing for those in the scandal. Some say it should be based on how much money the accused paid in the scandal.

Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, could be team crew recruits for the University of Southern California.

Legal experts told Business Insider that Huffman’s sentence might influence whether or not Loughlin changes her plea, assuming she can.

“Obviously if she sees other parents aren’t receiving jail time on their pleas … if I was Lori Loughlin, it would definitely encourage me to plead guilty — if that plea deal is even still open to her,” Adam Citron, a former New York prosecutor who practices at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, told Business Insider.

Loughlin potentially faces 40 years in prison, according to the Deseret News. She is charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering.

These “charges come with a maximum sentence of 20 years apiece. So she’ll spend 40 years behind bars if she is found guilty and gets the maximum sentence on both,” BuzzFeed reports.

But Citron told Insider he doesn’t think Loughlin will receive 40 years. But the case could be problematic if she goes to trial..

“I do think that there’s something to be said about stepping up to the plate and admitting your guilt and showing remorse and showing accountability,” he told Insider. “I think that if she fights it and ultimately there is a guilty verdict, she’s expended the court’s time, the government’s time, and that’s all considered during sentencing. Courts want to see the defendant admit culpability and acknowledge culpability.”