Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli claim that their donation of half a million dollars (around 450,000 euros) to the University of Southern California was legal. According to the actor couple, the judicial authorities around the bribery scandal deliberately withhold evidence from which it would appear that the couple had no intention of bribing someone, TMZ reports on Sunday.

The 55-year-old actress and her husband are part of a group of eleven suspects in the bribery scandal. The couple would have paid half a million dollars to ensure that their daughters Bella and Olivia Jade were enrolled as part of the university's rowing team while not practicing this sport.

"Our clients made legal donations," said Loughlin and Giannulli lawyers. "During the trial, they will help establish their innocence, by demonstrating that their payments to the university were legal donations and were not intended to directly or indirectly bribe the former sports director of the university."

Loughlin's lawyers want to find out if the university knew about the activities of the respective sports director, Donna Heinel, with various parents and students. "If the university knew about this, then Lori and Mossimo will certainly argue that there was no bribe and that payments had become institutionalized."

Loughlin and Giannulli were already accused of fraud and money laundering in March. The former Full House actress can be sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment if she is found guilty.

Felicity Huffman condemned in the same scandal

The former Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman is one of the fifty parents who are involved in the scandal. Huffman was not prosecuted for money laundering, but for fraud, after her confession for exam fraud for her children.

Huffman has now served her two-week prison sentence. In addition, she was also sentenced to a 250-hour community service order, a $ 30,000 fine, and a one-year suspended sentence.