Report: Lori Loughlin Turned Down Plea Deal That Would Have Prevented Potential 20-Year Prison Sentence She Now Faces, Is ‘Not Seeing How Serious This Is’

Actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are among 16 parents facing a second indictment related to the college admissions bribery scandal, with a source claiming the couple turned down a plea deal that would have prevented those new indictments.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts made the announcement about the new indictments on Tuesday, one day after several other individuals, including actress Felicity Huffman, agreed to plead guilty in the case.

“Sixteen parents involved in the college admissions scandal were charged today in Boston in a second superseding indictment with conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to use bribery to cheat on college entrance exams and to facilitate their children’s admission to selective colleges and universities as purported athletic recruits,” the Attorney’s Office explained.

Loughlin and the other parents were arrested last month when news of the scandal broke.

RELATED: Felicity Huffman Could Serve No Time After Pleading Guilty In College Admissions Scandal

The new charges could see Loughlin face more serious jail time if convicted.

“The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering,” the Attorney’s Office said.

While Loughlin’s fellow actress Felicity Huffman, also implicated in the scheme, entered a guilty plea in hopes of avoiding prison, People is reporting that Loughlin and her husband actually turned down a similar plea deal — which resulted in the additional charges.

According to People, the couple would have faced potential jail sentences of between 18-24 months under a plea agreement, but refused to consider any deal that would see either of them behind bars.

“They weren’t ready to accept that,” a source tells the magazine. “They’re really not seeing how serious this is.”

RELATED: Olivia Jade Will Not Return To USC Following Mom Lori Loughlin’s Involvement In The College Cheating Scandal

Adds the source: “They were offered the carrot and the stick. The carrot was that this can all go away and you can serve your time and put it behind you. Remember, they were facing 20 years, even before the latest charges. The stick was that [the prosecution] would and could pile on more serious charges.”

According to the source, the couple is now in the midst of trying to figure out what to do next.

“They decided to roll the dice,” the source continues, “and it may have been a bad gamble. Now they’re in worse shape than before.”

People’s calls to attorneys for Loughlin, Giannulli and Huffman were not immediately returned.

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