Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to charges leveled against them as part of an investigation into a large-scale college bribery admissions scandal, according to The Associated Press.
In court documents filed Monday and obtained by the AP, Loughlin and Giannulli waived their rights to appear in court for an arraignment and entered not guilty pleas.
Authorities charged 50 people last month as part of a large-scale college admissions scheme, in which authorities say coaches were bribed to admit students as athletes regardless of their ability. At least nine college athletic coaches have been charged as part of the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.
Prosecutors said Giannulli and Loughlin, who is best known for her portrayal of Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House” and its sequel “Fuller House,” agreed to pay $500,000 in bribes to have their daughters labeled as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, though neither participated in the sport.
They were among the more than a dozen parents indicted last week on additional money laundering and wire fraud conspiracy charges.
Several other indicted parents have also entered not guilty pleas.
Last week, Justice Department officials said 14 people, including "Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman, planned to plead guilty to charges they faced as part of Operation Varsity Blues. Authorities said Huffman paid at least $15,000 to rig her eldest daughter’s college entrance exam and disguised the payment as a charitable donation.
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