AceShowbiz - Lawyers for embattled actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have accused federal prosecutors of withholding key evidence in their college admissions cheating scandal.
The couple is fighting fraud, money laundering, and bribery charges following its arrest in March, when Loughlin and fashion designer Giannulli were accused of donating $500,000 to a fake charity set up by the scheme's mastermind, Rick Singer.
The payment was allegedly made to ensure their two daughters would be accepted into the University of Southern California as part of the school's rowing team - even though neither of them participated in the sport.
Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to the accusations, and now their legal representatives are claiming Justice Department officials have yet to turn over "all information" it has gathered from Singer, which they believe would show the payments were "legitimate donations."
"At trial, Giannulli and Loughlin will help establish their innocence by showing that they understood both sets of payments to be legitimate donations and did not understand or intent (sic) that either set of payments would be used to directly or indirectly bribe (former USC senior associate athletic director Donna) Heinel."
According to court papers, defence lawyers are also seeking to establish what college bosses knew of Singer's "operation" with parents and prospective students as they attempt to argue the payments are part of a "University-wide program at USC."
The former "Fuller House" star and Giannulli face a maximum of 45 years behind bars if convicted on all charges.
Fellow actress Felicity Huffman was also arrested as part of the U.S.-wide federal bust earlier this year. She subsequently admitted to cheating the admissions system and paying to fix her eldest daughter's exam scores to secure her a spot at an elite university.
She served 11 days of a 14 day jail sentence in October, and is now on probation.
She was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine, and complete 250 hours of community service.