Prosecutors threaten to add charges in college admissions scandal

Prosecutors are threatening to add bribery charges and additional prison time for parents in the college admissions scandal who have yet to cut a deal. New charges could be unsealed as soon as Tuesday.

In all, 19 parents have pleaded guilty. The sentences so far have ranged from probation to five months behind bars. Douglas Hodge, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering charges Monday, is one of the latest in a growing number high-profile parents changing their pleas from “not guilty” to “guilty.” Hodge was accused of paying $525,000 to get his two children into the University of Southern California and Georgetown University.

“Some of the parents learned that there might be a new charge that would be filed by the prosecution having to do with federal bribery, so they decided they’d better plead guilty and they better do it now,” said CBS News’ Rikki Klieman.

The other parents changing their pleas to guilty on Monday were among the most lucrative clients of Rick Singer – the alleged mastermind of the scam – including Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavs and Elizabeth Henriquez and her husband Manuel, a former finance CEO who is dyslexic and read a statement of apology.

They will all be sentenced next year. Still holding out for trial is actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband who are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC.

“Lori Loughlin and her husband have not yet cut a deal. We can only wonder why, because the longer they continue to hold out, the worse it will be for them,” Klieman said.

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