Eleven parents who have pleaded not guilty in the college admissions scandal, including actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are now facing an additional bribery charge.
Federal prosecutors made the announcement on Tuesday. Those parents, already facing fraud and money laundering charges, were charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. They're accused of trying to bribe officials at the University of Southern California in order to get their children accepted into the school.
Prosecutors said, "In exchange for the bribes, employees of the university allegedly designated the defendants' children as athletic recruits — with little or no regard for their athletic abilities — or as members of other favored admissions categories."
Federal programs bribery is defined as giving a bribe worth at least $5,000 to an organization that receives more than $10,000 a year in federal funds. The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.
And some defendants were hit with even more new charges Tuesday. One defendant was charged with two counts of substantive federal programs bribery; four were charged with wire fraud and honest services wire fraud. Seven coaches and test administrators were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud.
More than 50 people have been charged in the scam. Twenty-nine people, including actress Felicity Huffman, have agreed to plead guilty. Within the past week, CNN reports at least five people have switched their pleas to guilty.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.