Inside Lori Loughlin's life in prison

After months in limbo, actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, finally know their fate with regard to the Operation Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. After being accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to secure their daughters' admission to the University of Southern California, the couple initially pleaded not guilty in federal court, but they later pleaded guilty in May 2020 as part of a plea deal, per NPR. As of August 22, 2020, Loughlin and Giannulli have both been sentenced to months in prison.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Massachusetts, Loughlin was sentenced to two months in prison, along with two years of supervised release, "during which time she must complete 100 hours of community service" and "pay a fine of $150,000." Meanwhile, Giannulli faces five months in prison and two years of supervised release, "during which time he must complete 250 hours of community service" and "pay a fine of $250,000." While both were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, Giannulli was also accused of honest services wire and mail fraud.

Prior to their plea deals, both Loughlin and Giannulli faced up to 40 years in prison, as charges of bribery and money laundering carried hefty prison sentences. As one legal expert told Fox News, Loughlin should "thank her lucky stars." While both she and her husband are surely relieved, the couple also expressed remorse for their actions.

Lori Loughlin wants to 'give back' to society

After U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton handed down their sentences via Zoom, actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli apologized for their part in the college admissions scandal, per NPR. Giannulli expressed deep regret for "the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others." He added that he takes "full responsibility for my conduct. I am ready to accept the consequences and move forward with the lessons I've learned from this experience." 

Loughlin, on the other hand, hopes to "use this experience as a catalyst to do good and give back for the rest of my life," according to E! News. "I thought I was acting out of love for my children, but in reality, it only undermined and diminished my daughters' abilities and accomplishments," Loughlin explained. "More broadly and more importantly, I now understand that my decision helped exacerbate existing inequalities in society generally and the higher education system more specifically."

While there have been no reports as to when Loughlin and Giannulli will begin their sentences, both must surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons no later than November 19, 2020. Expert Gregory Stone told Fox News that it's "unlikely [her] community service will involve anything such as picking up trash on the side of the freeway." But what can Loughlin expect from her time behind bars? Well, according to experts, the experience could be rather "traumatizing."

Lori Loughlin's life will be 'changed forever'

While many have criticized actress Lori Loughlin's seemingly "light" prison sentence, experts have noted that even the shortest stay will leave the star "changed forever."

"Federal prison is night and day from state prison," attorney Debra Bogaards told Yahoo! Entertainment in 2019. "When celebrities like [Felicity] Huffman and Loughlin are incarcerated in federal prison, they're going to be referred to as convicts or the more derogatory 'inmates,' which is a term used to describe those with weak or suspect intestinal fortitude. While federal prisons may resemble more of a country club — hence the nickname 'Club Fed' — they are still grim, grimy and uncomfortable. It is not an easy ride."

"They still sleep in a dormitory," Bogaards added. "It's still cramped. They typically work eight hours a day at a very low pay rate — pennies on the dollar. They have to wear uniforms rather than their designer clothing. And the food — they're not going to find their gluten free, vegan specialties."

Former inmate Evie Litwok also noted that "prison is traumatizing for life" and that Loughlin probably will not have an easy time. "They may have a little more stuff — pay someone to do their laundry for them or get special favors from inmates taken with their celebrity — [but] it wouldn't make prison and the loss of your freedom any better," Litwok said. But, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, will Loughlin ultimately serve her time under house arrest? We'll have to wait and see.

Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade was told not to say 'too much'

Although Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli were the only members of their family to face consequences of their actions, court documents suggest the pair coached youngest daughter Olivia Jade to keep their secret from her high school guidance counselor. According to papers obtained by Fox News, Olivia Jade asked her parents if she should list USC as her top school of choice, to which Loughlin replied, "Yes.... But it might be a flag for the weasel to meddle." Giannulli allegedly added, "F**k him," and called the counselor a "nosey bastard."

Loughlin apparently told her daughter not to say "too much to that man." However, once Olivia Jade was flagged as the rowing team's recruit, the guidance counselor reached out to USC to say he had "no knowledge of [her] involvement in crew and based on what I knew of her video blogging schedule [I] highly doubted she was involved in crew." Prosecutors alleged this prompted Giannulli to confront the counselor, at which point he "aggressively asked what [the counselor] was telling USC about his daughters and why [the counselor] was trying to ruin or get in the way of their opportunities." Giannulli's pressure convinced the counselor to tell USC that Olivia Jade was "truly a coxswain."

But as Loughlin confessed to the courts, their actions "only undermined and diminished my daughters' abilities and accomplishments" (per Fox News). That's definitely one lesson you can't learn in school!