Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman could cut plea bargains if they want 'em -- but they wouldn't be getting off easy ... because prosecutors want prison time, TMZ has learned.
Federal law enforcement sources tell TMZ, any plea would come with a recommendation by prosecutors that the actresses serve some time behind bars. The official told us, "You can't have people being treated differently because they have money. That's how we got to this place. Every defendant will be treated the same."
Prosecutors will not have the final word if the cases are plea bargained. The U.S. Attorney would make a recommendation to the judge, but the judge has the final word.
Lori and Felicity each face a maximum of 5 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Our sources say it is "likely" plea bargain discussions will begin, but we're told no plea deal has been made.
Lori and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have been accused of paying ringleader Rick Singer $500,000 to get their daughters into USC by falsely claiming they would participate in the crew team.
Felicity is accused of paying Singer $15,000 to rig her daughter's SAT test.