Actress Lori Loughlin has apologized for her participation in the college admissions bribery scheme that saw more than two dozen wealthy parents arrested last year.
Loughlin, 56, addressed the court on Friday, after she and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were both sentenced for their crimes.
“I made an awful decision,” Loughlin said, according to PEOPLE. “I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process. In doing so, I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass. 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 and Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 to ease their daughters’ way into the University of Southern California. As part of a plea deal reached earlier this year, both parties pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, with Giannulli pleading guilty to an additional charge of honest services wire and mail fraud, CNN reports. Charges of bribery and money laundering were dropped, according to USA Today.
At Friday’s sentencing, Giannulli, 57, was sentenced to five months in federal prison and ordered to pay a fine of $250,000, as well as complete 250 hours of community service, according to the Associated Press.
As part of Loughlin’s plea deal, she was sentenced on Friday to five months behind bars and will have to pay a $150,000 fine, in addition to logging 150 community service hours, PEOPLE reports.
Addressing the court, Loughlin spoke briefly on systemic inequality and shared her regrets.
“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,” she said. “That realization weighs heavily on me and while I wish I could go back and do things differently, I can only take responsibility and move forward.
She went on to pledge to do better in the future, remarking, “I have great faith in God and I believe in redemption. And I will do everything in my power to redeem myself and use this experience as a catalyst to do good and give back for the rest of my life.”
Loughlin also apologized for her actions, crying at one point, CNN reports.
“I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry,” she said, according to the outlet. “I’m ready to face the consequences and make amends.”
Giannulli and Loughlin are slated to surrender to authorities to begin their sentence on Nov. 19, according to CNN.
The pair were among the most well-known parents to be indicted last year, alongside actress Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT scores changed. She completed her sentence last year, spending less than two weeks behind bars in October.
Conversely, Loughlin and Giannulli initially maintained their innocence and pleaded not guilty, stoking controversy and drawing criticism. If they had opted for a trial and were found guilty, both would have been facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, prosecutors previously said.
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