Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman made their first court appearance in Boston on Wednesday to face charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating case.
Both actresses, who were among 13 parents to appear in federal court, were not asked to submit pleas, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts said. Magistrate Judge Page Kelley left the bail amounts the same as previous judges and ordered them to surrender their passports.
Loughlin and Huffman were arrested last month as part of a nationwide college admissions cheating case. In total, the people arrested were charged with paying bribes of up to $6 million to get their children into top universities like Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC in what authorities described as the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice,” totaling $25 million in bribes.
The charges for both actresses were “conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.” If convicted, they could each face up to five years in prison.
According to a separate affidavit, Huffman and her spouse — “Shameless” star William H. Macy, who was not identified by his name or charged in the affidavit — made a charitable donation of $15,000 “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her oldest daughter.”
According to the charging documents, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
Loughlin was fired by Hallmark, where she starred on “When Calls the Heart” and many of the network’s original films, and is said to be out of the final season of Netflix’s “Fuller House,” though the streamer has yet to say anything official on the matter.