Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli Flash Smiles at Church One Day Before Pleading Not Guilty
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli pleaded not guilty Monday to mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy
Over the weekend, the Full House star and her fashion designer husband attended the Palm Sunday mass at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, where they were photographed leaving the church side-by-side.
For the Sunday service, Loughlin, 54, wore a pale blue blouse, navy-colored pants and glasses, which she accessorized with glasses and a silver necklace; Giannulli, 55, sported a black button-up shirt, black pants and a black belt. Both appeared to be wearing dark Gucci loafers.
As they walked down the church steps with pamphlets in hand, Loughlin flashed a smile while speaking with Giannulli, who also held leaves of a palm branch.
A source told the The Blast, which first reported the news, that the couple led the palm procession around the Catholic church, and a smiling Loughlin was seen exchanging greetings with parishioners.
Their attendance at the church service came one day before both Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded not guilty to mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
On March 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced that it had charged 50 people, including Loughlin and fellow actress Felicity Huffman, in the cheating scandal. The two actresses, along with coaches, admissions counselors and parents were accused of such alleged crimes as falsifying SAT scores and lying about the athletic skills of their children.
Huffman has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, saying, “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions.”
Loughlin, meanwhile, allegedly wanted her daughters — Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella Rose, 20 — to get into the University of Southern California so badly that she and Giannulli paid approximately $500,000 in bribes to falsely designate their daughters as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew.
Loughlin and Ginnulli have hired a team of high-profile attorneys to represent them in the case.
“They decided to roll the dice,” a legal source told PEOPLE last week about their decision to reject an offer for a deal from prosecutors, “and it may have been a bad gamble. Now they’re in worse shape than before.”
“[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,” the source told PEOPLE. “But they’re saying the they have such meticulous evidence that it would be foolish to take that risk.”
According to the legal source, their not guilty pleas on Monday were “the only choice they’ve got” after they rejected the plea deal.
“She probably should have taken the deal, but at the time, she didn’t really realize how serious the charges were,” the source said.
“More than that, I think she and her lawyers underestimated how motivated the prosecution was. So she didn’t plead, and then they hit her with another charge. Now she’s willing to negotiate, but the prosecution says that the deal is off the table. So the only choice they’ve got is to plead not guilty. That’s all they can do.”
Reps for Loughlin and Giannulli have not returned PEOPLE’s calls for comment.