A judge says actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California — an alleged victim in the case.
The couple appeared in Boston federal court Tuesday to settle a dispute over their choice of lawyers in a sweeping college admissions bribery case.
Prosecutors had said their lawyers pose a potential conflict of interest. Loughlin and Giannulli say the firm's work for USC was unrelated to the admissions case and was handled by different lawyers.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
The judge is expected to rule later on a potential conflict with another firm representing the couple that also represents other defendants in the case.
The couple is accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither participated in the sport.
Loughlin didn't answer questions outside the court Tuesday afternoon.
She and Gianulli pleaded not guilty to charges that include mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy. They are among the 50 parents who have been charged in a nationwide scheme to pay millions of dollars to secure spots for their children at elite universities.
Students were admitted to their desired universities by either cheating on college admission exams or by being passed as student athletes, according to court documents. Many parents charged in the investigation are prominent in law, business and finance. Hollywood actress Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty for her alleged participation in the scheme, also faces charges in the scam.
Each of the charges Loughlin and Giannulli face call for up to 20 years in prison, although first-time offenders would likely get only a small fraction of that if convicted.