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Lori Loughlin loses Hallmark roles in wake of college bribery arrest

Lori Loughlin, a star on pair of key franchises for Crown Media Family Networks, has been cut by the family-friendly programmer following her arrest in connection with college admissions bribery allegations.

Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton on period drama "When Calls the Heart," which is in its sixth season on Hallmark Channel (US). Loughlin — also a member of Netflix Inc.'s "Fuller House" series, a reboot of long-running ABC (US) series "Full House" — was arrested March 13 in Los Angeles on mail fraud charges.

Production of the entire 10-episode sixth season of "When Calls the Heart" has been completed, with three installments having premiered so far. The fourth was slated to bow March 17, but a Crown Media Family spokeswoman said at press time that "all completed work is being pulled off the air."

Loughlin also had the lead role of Jennifer Shannon in "Garage Sale Mysteries." Fifteen of the telefilms had aired to date on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (US), and served as an anchor for the service that had been rebranded from Hallmark Movie Channel in September 2014.

"We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin, including 'Garage Sale Mysteries,' an independent third-party production," the company said in a statement.

On March 12, news of an FBI investigation, code-named "Operation Varsity Blues," emerged. A number of celebrities, including Loughlin, "Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman and other wealthy parents, were charged with paying large sums to get their children into elite universities. The scheme, according to the government, involved bribing SAT and ACT college entrance exam administrators to allow someone to take the test in place of a student or correct the student's answers after they took the test. It also involved bribing administrators and athletic coaches to facilitate the admission of students to elite universities such as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and the University of Texas.