Experts: Lori Loughlin May Flip Plea After Seeing Felicity Huffman’s Light Sentence
Legal experts say Lori Loughlin may flip her plea if Felicity Huffman receives a light sentence on Friday for her role in the college admissions scandal.
Actress Felicity Huffman is scheduled to be sentenced for her role in the college admissions scandal on Friday. Legal experts are saying that her sentence could cause “Fuller House” star Lori Loughlin to flip her plea.
Huffman And Loughlin Take Different Paths
Though Huffman and Loughlin were two of the parents implicated in the scandal, they each took very different legal paths. Back in May, Huffman plead guilty to fraud charges. The guilty plea came with an admission to paying $15,000 to have an SAT proctor correct her daughter’s exam answers. Meanwhile, Loughlin and her husband entered not guilty pleas. The charges allege the couple paid $500,000 in bribe money to have their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as members of the crew team. Despite the fact daughters Olivia Jade, 19, and Bella, 20, had ever rowed.
Now, legal experts tell Insider that Huffman’s decision to fess up to what she did will likely pay off for her big time.
“Huffman [pleaded guilty] early, when everyone else was pleading not guilty, requesting discovery, trying to mount a defense,” explains Louis Shapiro. Shapiro is a federal defense attorney in Los Angeles. “She’s going to be rewarded for that.”
Shapiro went on to say that prosecutors have asked for a month sentence “because they don’t want to come across looking too soft in the public’s view.”
“What they’re doing is lobbing the ball to the defense to hit a home run, basically, and get community service,” for Huffman, according to Shapiro.
Loughlin May Flip Plea
Adam Citron is a former New York prosecutor who practices at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Citron says that the sentence Huffman gets could cause Loughlin to flip her plea if it’s especially lenient.
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“Obviously if she sees other parents aren’t receiving jail time on their pleas … if I was Lori Loughlin, it would definitely encourage me to plead guilty — if that plea deal is even still open to her,” he said.
Loughlin is facing forty years in prison if she goes to trial and is found guilty. Citron said that while he doubts that she will get forty years behind bars, she could end up in hot water should she proceed to trial.
“I do think that there’s something to be said about stepping up to the plate and admitting your guilt and showing remorse and showing accountability,” he said. “I think that if she fights it and ultimately there is a guilty verdict, she’s expended the court’s time, the government’s time, and that’s all considered during sentencing. Courts want to see the defendant admit culpability and acknowledge culpability.”
Dmitry Gorin is a former prosecutor in Los Angeles who now works as a defense attorney. Gorin predicts that Loughlin will only change her plea if Huffman gets no jail time.
“If I were representing her, I would focus on how weak or strong is the evidence against her, to decide on whether or not to take a plea deal,” he said.
Loughlin Regrets Not Pleading Guilty
Sources have said in the last few months that Loughlin regrets not pleading guilty. Her regret comes in the wake of seeing how light the sentences of people like Huffman will likely be.
“She is watching the reduced sentences of those who have taken plea deals, and wondering each day if she’s made the wrong decision,” one source close to Loughlin’s said. “While a few friends have stuck by her side, many others have cut her off.”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Loughlin made a major mistake in not pleading guilty. That mistake could result in her losing her freedom for years. Though it’s good that she seems to be regretful now, it might be too little too late for Lori Loughlin.