Unlike many of the 50 individuals accused of using bribery and fraud to get their children accepted to some of the nation’s top universities, the Fuller House star and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, did not immediately plead guilty to the charges.
As a result, the couple combatted a slew of additional charges of mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy.
On Aug. 21, 2020, both Loughlin and Giannulli were sentenced to time behind bars. Scroll down for the latest details on Loughlin's case and what sort of time in the big house the Full House star received.
Loughlin and Giannulli took a plea deal, and they will spend time in prison.
The 54-year-old initially faced up to 40 years in prison, however, according to CNN, Loughlin will be spending two months in prison, while Giannulli is facing five months. The mother-of-two and her fashion designer husband are guilty of paying $500,000 to get their daughters, Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade, into the University of Southern California.
The scam's mastermind, William Singer, misrepresented the girls as crew team recruits in order to ensure their admittance.
Loughlin and Giannulli previously rejected a plea agreement because it apparently included jail time, but it was lowered tremendously.
"They decided to roll the dice and it may have been a bad gamble," a legal source told People in April. "[The prosecutors] are saying that the only way anyone’s going to escape jail time is if they go to trial and are found not guilty. But [prosecutors also say] they have such meticulous evidence that it would be foolish to take that risk."
The former When Calls the Heart star kept an incredibly low profile as she awaited trial. She posted a $1 million bail bond shortly after her arrest on March 13, 2019. Sources said Loughlin took the situation very seriously, but she was in total denial if she were to be convicted.
"Lori in particular has become extremely well-versed in the case," an insider had told People. "She’s an active participant in her own defense, feels like she’s got a valid defense, and that when all the evidence comes out, she won’t be found guilty."
At the time, the insider added, "She isn’t working, and her whole life focus has changed drastically. It consists of waiting around for the next court date and planning her legal defense."
Another source shared that the New York native believes going to trial might actually help repair her reputation. "Lori feels like so much damage has been done publicly that the only way for her to counter it is to fight this case in court."
The source insisted that Loughlin and her husband never intended to do anything illegal. "When you look at it in context, you can argue that this is a woman who didn’t understand exactly what she was doing — and she was being counseled and guided by a man [William Singer] who this was his area of expertise."
Despite claims that Loughlin didn’t fully grasp what was happening, a series of incriminating emails show the actress’s eagerness to see her daughters accepted to USC despite their mediocre academic qualifications.
How long will Lori Loughlin be in jail?
More than a year and a half after the findings from Operation Varsity Blues went public, Loughlin and Giannulli finally learned if their plea deal would be accepted.
In the morning hours of Aug. 21, Giannulli learned that he would be sentenced to five months in prison, 250 hours of community service, and that he would be ordered to pay a $250,000 fine. He will surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons by 2 p.m. on Nov. 19.
During his virtual sentencing hearing, Giannulli apologized for his role in the admissions scandal.
"I deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others. I take full responsibility for my conduct," he said. "I'm ready to accept the consequences and move forward with the lessons I've learned from this experience."
His wife was informed about the status of her deal just a few hours later. Her plea was also accepted, and she was sentenced to two months in prison.
She must pay a $150,000 fine, and she also has to complete 150 hours of community service. The terms of her deal were lighter because she played a less active role in the bribery.
At this time, it's unclear when Loughlin will have to report to prison.
Neither Olivia Jade nor Isabella Giannulli have publicly commented on their parents' prison sentences at this time.
Needless to say, we never thought Aunt Becky would be spending time behind bars.