Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman face fraud charges in the nationwide college admission scandal

By Steve Helling and Juliet Pennington
April 03, 2019 03:33 PM
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In a crowded Boston courtroom, Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman faced the presiding judge for the first time for their alleged involvement in the nationwide college admissions cheating scandal.

Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, appeared first. During their 6-minute hearing, they waived their right for a preliminary hearing. They also agreed to several pretrial conditions, including surrendering their passports and no possession of firearms.

After the hearing, Loughlin reached over to the next table to shake the hands of the prosecutors.

During Huffman’s three-minute hearing, she agreed to the same pretrial conditions as Loughlin and Giannulli. If any of them need to travel for work or emergencies, they can petition the court to get their passports back.

Loughlin, Giannulli and Huffman have not entered pleas in the cases against them. Another court date for them has not been set.

Arriving in Court

Loughlin signed autographs and posed for pictures upon her arrival in Boston on Tuesday night. While entering the courthouse on Wednesday morning, she remained upbeat. Wearing a camel-colored wide-legged pantsuit with a gray T-shirt, she smiled and laughed when someone made a joke about the elevator getting stuck. Giannulli was more somber in a navy blue suit and green tie.

Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin
| Credit: Charles Krupa/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Steven Senne/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Huffman entered the courthouse early, nearly 3 hours before her hearing was supposed to start. She wore a black blazer, matching pants, a turquoise button-down and accessorized with a cross necklace — all under a black overcoat. Huffman also carried a purse on her arm, and held hands with her brother.

Huffman’s husband, William H. Macy, was not in attendance.

Both women face felony charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud after being arrested in March.

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

The Charges

Prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that Desperate Housewives star Huffman paid $15,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes. Singer then allegedly facilitated cheating on Huffman’s daughter’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers.

Huffman, 56, allegedly discussed the scheme in a recorded phone call with Singer, who has pleaded guilty to multiple charges and has admitted to devising the scam.

According to federal prosecutors, Loughlin allegedly wanted her daughters to get into the University of Southern California so badly that she and Giannulli paid bribes to falsely classify their daughters as student athletes.

The complaint alleges Loughlin and Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”

Credit: Splash News Online

Attorneys for Loughlin and Huffman have not returned PEOPLE’s calls for comment.