Lori Loughlin, husband Mossimo Giannulli plead not guilty in college scam

Jack Wagner and Lori Loughlin in Hallmark Channel's

Enlarge Image Jack Wagner and Lori Loughlin in Hallmark Channel's"When Calls the Heart Hallmark Entertainment

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband pleaded not guilty Monday to charges against them in the far-reaching college admissions scandal.

Several other indicted parents have also entered not guilty pleas.

Loughlin and Giannulli have been accused of paying a total of $500,000 in bribe to secure their daughters' admissions into the University of Southern California as competitive rowing recruits.

Reportedly, they are facing off against a potential prison sentence of 40 years for fraud as well as money laundering.

In choosing to enter their not guilty plea through court papers, Loughlin and Giannulli are avoiding the high-profile appearance they made in Boston April 3 when they were forced to make what is called their "initial appearance" in federal court following the issuing of an original set of charges.

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The criminal complaint against Giannulli and Loughlin includes evidence from a cooperating witness, emails, bank records and a recorded phone call with each parent. Authorities allege the couple agreed to bribe USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel, who also was charged in the scheme, to designate their daughter as an athletic recruit on the crew team.

"They chose to roll the dice", the legal source told PEOPLE last week about their decision to reject the plea deal, "and it may have been a bad gamble". Huffman was accused of paying $15,000 to have someone take her daughter's Saturday.

Prosecutors added a money laundering conspiracy charge against Loughlin, Giannulli and more than a dozen other parents who are still fighting the case, increasing the pressure on them to plead guilty.

"I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community", Huffman said.

Gone girl: The network cut all ties with the show's star, Lori Loughlin, in light of the 54-year-old actress' alleged role in the college admissions scandal. "This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life".

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