Why Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli Could Avoid Jail Time Entirely Due to COVID-19
Lori Loughlin and Mossimi Giannulli's sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 21
As a part of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannullli’s plea deal in the massive college admission scandal, the Full House star and her husband agreed to go to prison — but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will serve time behind bars.
According to legal expert James J. Leonard Jr., who is not affiliated with the case, “Federal inmates typically serve 85 percent of their sentence before they are released,” he says in the latest issue of PEOPLE. “Given that the Department of Justice is currently releasing many non-violent inmates serving federal sentences due to COVID-19, any period of incarceration seems unnecessary in this case.”
- For more about Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
The actress and her husband were accused of paying $500,000 to Rick Singer and Key Worldwide Foundation to falsely designate their daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, 20, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither of them ever participated in the sport.
On May 22, Loughlin, 55, confessed to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and one count of honest services wire and mail fraud.
Under the terms of the deal, which is still pending the judge’s approval, Loughlin agreed to serve two months in prison (though the coronavirus pandemic could affect that time), pay a $150,000 fine and do 100 hours of community service, while Giannulli agreed to serve five months, pay $250,000 and do 250 hours of community service. Both could also spend two years on supervised release.
“In March, the Attorney General directed the Bureau of Prisons to consider releasing certain non-violent inmates to home confinement because of the threat that COVID-19 posed to prisoners who were vulnerable to the virus based on their health,” says Leonard.
“To then incarcerate two non-violent criminal defendants with zero criminal history is contrary to that directive and is quite frankly not logical," he explains. "I don’t think anyone should be surprised if the court sentences them both to a period of home confinement with certain restrictions.”
Loughlin and Giannulli’s sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 21.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.