"You read the complaint and they look like criminal masterminds. But they really didn’t know the legalities of what was going on," a source close to the actor revealed.
Hallmark star Lori Loughlin has had a tough few months after being accused of alleged bribery in the college admission scandal that has stunned the nation. The 'former' When Calls The Heart actor was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. However, she has pleaded not guilty.
Not just Lori, but her husband and fashion designer Mossimo Gianulli is also involved in the case. The prosecutors have said that many parents paid bribes in order to ensure their child gets admission into top universities in the US. But now a source close to the actor has said Lori never realized that her actions were illegal, reports PEOPLE.
“Lori is shocked and saddened that this is what her legacy is going to be,” the source says. "You read the complaint and they look like criminal masterminds. But they really didn’t know the legalities of what was going on. They’re not lawyers and they’re not experts. They were parents who simply wanted to make sure that their daughters got into a good school."
“Calling in favors, donating money to the alumni association, hiring consultants. Those are all things that parents do,” says the source. “And so they gave money to this consultant, not entirely knowing everything that was going to be done. When it all fell apart, nobody was as surprised as they were that they were in trouble.”
The source continues, “She never intended to break any laws, and if she did, it was inadvertent.”
Loughlin’s eldest daughter had reportedly applied for colleges in 2016, but federal prosecutors claimed that she got admission into University of Southern California, after the parents reportedly paid a massive bribe to the college authorities. They have also alleged that Lori and her husband did the same for their other daughter, who enrolled in USC last fall, reports Washington Post.
13 parents among the total of 33 parents accused of being part of the scandal, showed up in court along with Loughin and fellow actor Felicity Huffman. They were all charged with conspiracy to commit mail and honest services mail fraud. Meanwhile, none of their children were charged in the scandal.
However, the Hallmark star is taking a break from her busy acting schedule and looking forward to getting done with the legal case as soon as possible. The source says the couple is “very focused on getting the legal case worked out. They can deal with careers and finances later. Right now, they need to deal with mounting their defense, while still negotiating for any sort of deal.”
He adds, “Everything else is secondary. Lori, in particular, is very focused. She is being very no-nonsense about this now.”
Meanwhile, Hallmark Channel recently renewed When Calls The Heart for a seventh season and not surprisingly, without their star Lori Loughlin. The show has been in limbo ever since Loughlin was charged in the case during March. Hallmark Channel did not air the show since then and even announced that they would be cutting all ties with the accused star.
Only time will tell how the case pans out in due course of time and whether Lori Loughlin will face any prison time or not.