Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman appeared in front of a federal judge Wednesday afternoon on federal charges for their reported involvement in a massive, multi-million dollar college entrance scam.
The actresses, along with 13 other parents involved in the case, appeared before the federal judge in a Boston courtroom, where the case was first exposed.
The judge kept bond at the same amount previously set and the actresses surrendered their passports Wednesday, according to the LA Times. While plea deal discussions may be underway behind closed doors, the actresses did not officially enter into one Wednesday.
Loughlin was all smiles, even signing autographs before appearing in court, according to multiple reports. She waved to fans in a manner that seemed more like a film premiere than a federal court appearance. According to Boston Globe reporter Shelley Murphy, the actress warmly shook the prosecutor’s hands before being released minutes later.
Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are said to have paid $500K to get their daughters into USC, lying about their participation on the crew team.
Huffman is accused of paying $15K to get her daughter extra time and corrected answers on her college entrance exams.
According to TMZ, prosecutors are adamant that the actresses should face jail time. “You can’t have people being treated differently because they have money,” a source told the site. “That’s how we got to this place. Every defendant will be treated the same.”
The federal investigation, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” involves more than 50 people across the country and millions of dollars in fraud to get the children of wealthy Americans into elite colleges like Harvard, Yale, USC and Stanford.
Both actresses are facing up to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.