College admissions scandal: Lori Loughlin among 16 parents facing additional charges

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were among the 16 parents who were indicted in the college admissions scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues on Tuesday.

The parents were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, in addition to the previously charged count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, ABC News reports. The additional charges could increase any prison time for these defendants.

Operation Varsity Blues allegedly involved William "Rick" Singer arranging for students to get into elite universities through a variety of methods including bribing SAT and ACT exam administrators and bribing university athletic coaches and administrators to "recruit" students who did not participate in the sport.

The additional charge reflects the methods the parents allegedly used to pay for their part in the scheme. In some cases, parents sent money through Singer's supposed charity. In others, the money was sent through an overseas account.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The additional charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering also carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. An arraignment date has not been set yet for these defendants.

Loughlin and Giannulli are among the most public figures associated with the case. In a People report last week, sources said their daughter, 19-year-old social media star Olivia Jade, is "very angry" with her parents and would never have gone along with the scheme if she had known.

The news comes just a day after 13 of those involved, including actress Felicity Huffman, agreed to plead guilty in the scheme. In a statement, Huffman said that she had betrayed her daughter.

In total, 50 people were charged in what authorities have described as the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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