Lori Loughlin may wind up serving less time in prison than expected — considering her plea deal was struck amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.
Lawyers pointed to the curious timing of the arrangement, in which Loughlin and her hubby Mossimo Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in exchange for prison time, community service and paying $400,000 in fines.
“I do not believe that the deal itself is a reflection of COVID-19. However, I do think that COVID-19 could ultimately result in them serving even less time than their agreed-upon sentences,” lawyer Lisa Houle told Yahoo! Entertainment on Thursday. “That would not surprise me at all. We have seen other defendants being released early amidst the pandemic.”
Loughlin and Giannulli are set to plead guilty Friday morning via video conference for paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, into the University of Southern California as fake rowing recruits.
Loughlin has agreed to serve two months in prison, and her husband five months in prison — though the terms of the deal still need to be signed off by a judge.
Los Angeles-based attorney Silva Megerditchian said prosecutors may have been eager to hammer out a deal with the “Full House” star and the fashion designer “to avoid a trial during these uncertain times.”
“They might have given an easier plea deal today knowing the process of trial, and getting jurors to appear in court, may not be worth it in the long run,” she told Yahoo! “The prosecutor got what they wanted — federal prison time, probation and a hefty fine. And honestly, the defense got what they wanted — only a few months in federal prison.”
High-profile defendants including Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen have recently been sprung early from prison due to coronavirus fears. Manafort was serving a seven-year sentence for tax evasion and other charges, while Cohen was in for three years for financial crimes.
Both men will now serve out the remainder of their sentences in home confinement.