Lori Loughlin Hit With New Charges in College Admission Scandal as Other Parents Get Lenient Sentences

While parents who pleaded guilty for their role in the college admission scandal received lenient sentences for their crimes, 11 parents, including actor Lori Loughlin, were hit with additional charges.

On Tuesday, a grand jury returned a third indictment that charged Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. The charge stemmed from the alleged $500,000 payment Loughlin and Giannulli made to the University of Southern California's then–assistant women's soccer coach Laura Janke and then-senior women's associate athletic director Donna Heinel.

In exchange for the payment, Janke, who pleaded guilty, created falsified athletic profiles for the couple's daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade. Heinel, who pleaded not guilty, then allegedly presented them to a subcommittee for athletic admissions. Both Bella and Olivia Jade were admitted to USC, but, on Monday, news broke that they were no longer enrolled at the university.

While Loughlin and Giannulli are still being hit with new charges, the most recent of which comes with a penalty of up to five years in prison, 10 parents involved in the fraudulent scheme have already learned their fate.

lori loughlin additional charges college admission scandal
This combination of pictures created on March 12 shows Felicity Huffman in Los Angeles on September 16, 2018, and Lori Loughlin arriving in Los Angeles on January 18, 2017. While Huffman pleaded guilty for her role in the college admission scandal and received a lenient sentence, Loughlin was hit with an additional charge on Tuesday. LISA O'CONNOR,TOMMASO BODDI/AFP/Getty

Actor Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to boost her daughter's SAT scores, was the first parent to be sentenced and, in September, received 14 days in prison. Since her sentencing hearing, Judge Indira Talwani has imposed sentences for parents that range from one year of probation to five months in jail. So far, none of her sentences have resulted in the amount of jail time the prosecution requested.

"Judge Talwani is trying to craft the sentences so there's some consistency with the actions the individuals took," Frank Perrone, a partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, previously told Newsweek. "I think what you're really seeing is a good gauge of how these sentences are gonna come down."

While there was consistency in the sentences given to parents who pleaded guilty, Perrone added that when it comes to those who are convicted at trial, it will be a "whole different ball game."

This was the third time Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted, each one superseding the previous one. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement that the newest indictment furthered the goal of holding the "defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud."

Nine other parents, identified as Gamal Abdelaziz, Diane Blake, Todd Blake, Elisabeth Kimmell, William McGlashan Jr., Marci Palatella, John Wilson, Homayoun Zadeh and Robert Zangrillo, were also charged in the new indictment with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. Wilson was also hit with an additional two counts of substantive federal programs bribery.

Loughlin and Giannulli were previously charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Both of those charges have maximum sentences of up to 20 years in prison.