AceShowbiz - Disgraced actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin appeared in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, April 03, to face fraud charges relating to a U.S. college admissions cheating scandal.
The two stars, along with Loughlin's husband, fashion mogul Mossimo Giannulli, and others were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud last month (March 2019), and were released on bail.
They are among a group of parents accused of paying into a U.S.-wide scheme to gain access to elite schools for their kids, handing out thousands to coaches and admissions bosses, as well as testing officials, who helped them cheat the system.
The suspects headed to U.S. District Court in Boston this week for a preliminary hearing in the case, during which they did not enter pleas.
According to Deadline.com, they were asked by Magistrate Judge Page Kelly if they understood the charges filed against them, and were individually asked to sign bail condition papers after the court official ruled she would leave the terms of their release unchanged.
Huffman had previously been allowed to return home after handing over $250,000 (£190,000) to California authorities, while Loughlin and her husband's bail was set at $1 million (£760,200) each. They were also ordered to surrender their passports as part of the agreement.
During Wednesday's hearing, the actresses scored a small victory after the judge denied prosecutors' request for a gagging order, preventing the pair from discussing the case with their spouses or children.
Huffman's husband, actor William H. Macy, has not been charged with any crime, but he was reportedly present when his wife was first approached about the bribery scheme.
She is alleged to have paid $15,000 (£11,400) to help their eldest daughter score high on a college entrance exam, while Loughlin and Giannulli reportedly handed over $500,000 (£380,000) to a school coach to falsely state that their two daughters were recruits for the rowing team at the University of Southern California.
They each face up to five years behind bars if convicted.