Legal strategy of Lori Loughlin and husband in college admissions scandal could backfire

Why Loughlin's legal strategy may backfire

Last Updated Aug 27, 2019 12:06 PM EDT

Actress Lori Loughlin is scheduled to be back in a Boston courtroom Tuesday for a hearing in the college admissions scandal. She and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying bribes to get their daughters into college. Both have pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges.

In court, the two will face a series of questions from the judge over the potential implications of presenting a united legal fight.
 
"The concern here is that this law firm cannot zealously represent Loughlin and her husband because they might be pointing fingers at each other," former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson tells CBS News.
 
Prosecutors say the pair paid $500,000 to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though they were not competitive rowers. A joint defense could prevent their attorneys from using evidence that could be favorable to one of them if it implicates the other.  
 
"The benefit for Lori Loughlin and her husband is that there's strength in having a joint defense," Levenson said. "That they'll stand in unity and say this is an unfair prosecution. The risk in them sticking together in a joint defense is that they both could go down."
 
Thirty-three parents have been charged in connection with paying mastermind Rick Singer's organization to get their children into top universities. So far, 14 have pleaded guilty. 

Three parents who have already pleaded guilty, including actress Felicity Huffman, will learn their sentences in two weeks. Prosecutors have recommended she serve four months behind bars.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the amount the couple allegedly paid. The correct number is $500,000.