The 'Fuller House' star and husband Mossimo Giannulli, who are facing up to 20 years in prison, make the move along with 15 other defendants after a judge waived their right to appear in court.

AceShowbiz - Lawyers for Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli formally submitted not guilty pleas in a Boston court on Monday, April 29.

The "Fuller House" star and fashion mogul were arrested in March and charged with conspiracy to commit fraud for reportedly paying $500,000 (£381,750) to a fake charity to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as part of the school's crew team - even though neither of them participated in the sport.

The couple revealed their intention to plead not guilty to the charge, as well as a new additional count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in federal court filings earlier in April and asked for a judge to waive their right to appear in court to formally enter the pleas.

This request was granted, and on Monday their legal team submitted the not guilty pleas along with 15 other defendants at a federal court in Boston, Massachusetts.

If convicted, Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.

However, a source had told People they turned down a plea deal because they believe going to trial is in their best interest.

"Lori feels like so much damage has been done publicly that the only way for her to counter it is to fight this case in court... She feels like once all the evidence is presented, that people will understand how things happened," the insider said. "Her only chance of avoiding jail is to go to court and be found not guilty."

Former "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman recently agreed to a plea deal for her alleged part in the scandal. She admitted to cheating the admissions system and fixing her teenage daughter's test scores in an effort to secure her a place at an elite university. Huffman will next appear in court on 21 May.

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