Real Housewife Teresa Giudice was sentenced to 15 months in prison yesterday, beginning Jan. 5, and $414,000 in restitution. She will also face two years of supervised release. Teresa Giudice’s time behind bars will be staggered with her husband’s, who was sentenced earlier today to three-and-a-half years in prison. Whether or not he will be deported will be determined after he serves his time. Joe Giudice is not a U.S. citizen.
Their troubles first surfaced in 2009, when the couple declared bankruptcy, citing millions in debt and blaming the economy for torpedoing Joe’s real estate ventures. The bankruptcy trustee representing their creditors questioned the couple’s failure to declare assets and income, including rental properties and Teresa’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” true salary. In July 2013, federal prosecutors not only brought bankruptcy fraud charges against the couple, but alleged a long-running conspiracy from their pre-fame days to illegally obtain millions in mortgages, construction loans and lines of credit using falsified W-2 forms and tax returns. Joe also failed to pay income tax on nearly $1 million in earnings over five years, prosecutors alleged. They eventually plead guilty to one count of mail and wire fraud and three counts of bankruptcy fraud, while Joe also pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file a tax return.
U.S. District Court Esther Salas said that she initially considered sentencing Teresa to probation, but she grew visibly angry with the couple over what she called their “glaring” omissions and inconsistences in their required pre-sentencing financial disclosure statement, and that Feinstein couldn’t confirm whether his client had actually paid the $224,000 he owes in back taxes. She called it “a direct affront to the court.” Our own Tim Farrow noted, “I constantly tell my clients when it comes to sentencing – the time to contest your case has passed. The court is interested only in an honest and sincere acceptance of responsibility.” Unfortunately for Mr. and Mrs. Giudice, they never quite caught on to the honest and sincere part.
Dash Farrow, LLP, handles civil and criminal aspects of mortgage fraud and other white collar matters, as well as criminal, real estate and commercial litigation.