Joe, Teresa Giudice of “Real Housewives” Both Get Prison Time in Fraud Case

One of the star couples behind the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" will be trading the drama of reality TV for prison.

Teresa Giudice was sentenced to 15 months in prison late Thursday afternoon, hours after her husband Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice was sentenced to more than three years in prison on conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges.

They were silent as they left court after sentencing, and did not speak to reporters. 

Teresa Giudice will surrender on Jan. 15, so she can spend the holidays with her kids, U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas said. Her husband will begin his sentence upon her release. Joe Giudice was also ordered to pay $414,000 in restitution.

The judge slammed them for not disclosing all their assets in a presentencing report. She said they didn't include all the recreational vehicles they own.

But the judge gave Joe Giudice credit for helping people rebuild after Sandy and other storms.

He made a brief statement in which he apologized and said he had disgraced many people.

In her own statement to the judge before sentencing, an emotional Teresa said, "I am more sorry than anyone will ever know."

"It's time for me to wake up," she said, adding that she is taking responsibility for her actions, and that her daughters and family come first.

The couple pleaded guilty in March, admitting they hid assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitted phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.

Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, said the couple committed crimes that deserved jail time but that the husband had a more significant role in the bank fraud. 

"The fact that she's a celebrity played no role in her punishment," Fishman said.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Joe Giudice faced a potential sentence of 37 to 46 months and Teresa Giudice faced 21 to 27 months, though the judge could deviate up or down from those ranges. Lawyers for Teresa Giudice, 42, were hopeful that she would be spared a prison sentence and instead receive probation, noting the need to care for the couple's four young daughters.

Joe Giudice, an Italian citizen, could be deported after his prison term is completed. His attorney has said Giudice came to the U.S. as an infant and didn't know he wasn't an American citizen.

Both Giudices pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three types of bankruptcy fraud. Joe Giudice, 43, also pleaded guilty to failing to file a tax return for 2004, though he acknowledged he didn't file taxes on income of approximately $1 million from 2004 to 2008.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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