Hollywood star Lori Loughlin on Monday waived her court appearance and entered a not guilty plea to the latest set of charges in the closely watched college admissions cheating scandal.
Loughlin, whose scene stealing performance as Aunt Becky on the beloved sitcom “Full House” endeared her to millions, entered her plea in a court filing submitted by Sean M. Berkowitz, one of her five attorneys of record.
“Defendant and her counsel affirm that Ms. Loughlin has received a copy of the Fourth Superseding Indictment and that Ms. Loughlin pleads not guilty to each of the counts against her," Berkowitz wrote. “Therefore Ms. Loughlin respectfully requests that the Court accept this waiver and enter Ms. Loughlin’s plea of not guilty.”
The fourth superseding indictment in the case, handed up Jan. 14, accuses Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, of agreeing to pay $500,000 to the scheme’s admitted ringleader, William “Rick” Singer, for help getting their daughters admitted to USC as bogus crew recruits.
The couple has pleaded not guilty to all counts and awaits trial. They’re two of the 15 defendants named in the superseding indictment. Such indictments are common in lengthy federal cases.
Loughlin and Giannulli are each currently charged with 13 counts including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, money laundering conspiracy, and filing a false tax return, records show.
Singer has admitted to his starring role in the ruse and awaits sentencing.
Meanwhile USC confirmed in October that Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughters no longer attend the school.
Loughlin is not the only celebrity to get caught in the sprawling scheme, in which loaded parents allegedly cut fat checks to have their children falsely classified as sports recruits at fancy schools, or to facilitate cheating on the kids’ SAT and ACT scores if they needed a little boost.
Actress Felicity Huffman, the “Desperate Housewives” star who enthralled critics with her gutsy performance in “Transamerica," served less than two weeks in prison for paying a $15,000 bribe to pad her daughter’s SAT score.
Huffman — whose husband is William H. Macy, the “Shameless” star who won plaudits for his soul-bearing performance as a damaged former quiz show contestant in “Magnolia” — also paid a $30,000 fine and was ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.
Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com.