AceShowbiz - After Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were slapped with additional charges in the college admissions bribery scandal, their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose could be facing charges next. A legal expert says that it's possible the actress' children are charged as defendants in the case since the government has been increasing pressure on Lori and Mossimo, who have rejected a plea deal.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani tells PEOPLE, "At a minimum the daughters will be witnesses in a trial against their parents, but they could also be charged as defendants." She adds, "The government has made it clear that they are going to keep increasing pressure on both Lori and Mossimo. By not pleading, Lori and Mossimo are exposing their children to being charged."
But a source begs to differ, claiming that Lori and Mossimo would not put their daughters at such risk. "If Lori had any indication that the girls were at risk, she'd want to plead guilty - even though she believes that she did nothing wrong. She is not going to let them spend time in jail for something that they didn't do," the source argues. "Lori is a fantastic mother who would take the fall for the girls even if it cost her everything."
Another legal expert, James J. Leonard Jr., also disagrees with Neama, saying, "I see absolutely no scenario where the Department of Justice would charge either of the daughters." He adds, "That would be absolute overkill and is contrary to the interest of justice."
Lori and Mossimo are accused of paying $500,000 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. They rejected a plea deal and were hit with additional charges of money laundering and conspiracy. Most recently, they were charged with conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery.
"It just gets worse and worse for her," a Lori source says of her situation. "And you have to remember: nothing new has happened. They could have charged her with all of this last spring. But they waited. She feels like she is a scapegoat."