Hollywood star Lori Loughlin and her husband on Friday pleaded not guilty to the new charges brought against them in the college admissions cheating scandal.
Lawyers for Loughlin, whose scene-stealing performance as Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House” endeared her to millions, said Friday in a legal filing in US District Court in Boston that the actress “has received a copy of the Third Superseding Indictment” and “pleads not guilty to each of the counts against her.”
Loughlin’s husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli also pleaded not guilty to the new counts in a separate legal filing.
The Hollywood power couple is among the dozens of defendants charged in the scheme, in which wealthy parents cut big checks to ringleader William “Rick” Singer to have their children falsely designated as athletic recruits at fancy schools, or to pad their kids’ SAT and ACT scores.
Singer has pleaded guilty to his starring role in the ruse and awaits sentencing. He cooperated with investigators, enabling them to record his conversations with scam participants.
Loughlin and her husband allegedly agreed to pay Singer $500,000 in order to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as fake crew recruits. Recently USC confirmed that the daughters are no longer enrolled.
Attorneys for Loughlin and her spouse didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The indictment, filed Oct. 22 against the couple and a group of other defendants, charged them with two counts of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, three counts of money laundering conspiracy, and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and honest services mail fraud.
Loughlin and Giannulli had been indicted previously on one count each of money laundering and honest services fraud.
The stepped-up charges drew criticism from some legal observers, but others said it was not surprising.
They’re not the only Tinseltown denizens caught up in the scandal.
Actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in the TV series “Desperate Housewives” and also floored critics with her gutsy performance in the film “Transamerica,” last week finished up her two-week prison sentence early for paying a $15,000 bribe to boost her daughter’s SAT score.
Huffman, the spouse of mustachioed “Shameless” star William H. Macy, also paid a $30,000 fine and will have to perform 250 hours of community service.
Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.