Criminal Law Lawyers Washington DC
Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications, and bankruptcy fraud in a 39-count federal indictment on July 29, 2013. The federal indictment also charged Joe with a failure to file tax returns for tax years 2004 through 2008.
On Aug. 14, 2013, the two pleaded not guilty to financial fraud charges. On Nov. 19, 2013, Joe stood trial on individual charges that he had fraudulently used his brother’s marriage certificate and birth certificate to obtain a driver’s license in 2010. Joe’s own driver’s license was suspended after a DUI on Jan. 13, 2010. After he was convicted, Joe’s license was suspended for 12 months, and he was sentenced to 20 days of community service.
At first, Teresa and Joe pleaded not guilty to the charges in the federal indictment. However, they struck a plea deal with prosecutors on March 14, 2014, pleading guilty to 41 counts of fraud after engaging in bank, mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud, which allegedly netted them over $5 million during a 10-year period. Additionally, Joe also pleaded guilty for a count for failing to file tax returns.
U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas presided over the case and said to Teresa, “For a moment I thought about probation but I think a period of confinement is absolutely necessary in this case.” The judge added, “I don’t honestly believe that you understand or respect the law. I need to send a message. In the eyes of the law, it doesn’t matter who you are. There are consequences to pay.”
On October 2, 2014, Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in a federal prison; Joe was sentenced to 41 months, followed by the threat of potential deportation to his birth country of Italy. They also agreed to pay $414,000 in restitution. Teresa and Joe are parents to four daughters, so they have been allowed to serve their sentences separately. The couple selected Teresa to serve her time first. She began her sentence Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut on Jan. 5, 2015. The reality star surrendered herself seven hours early to the prison. “She was ready,” her attorney James J. Leonard Jr. Esq. told outlets. At Danbury, Teresa served as Inmate No. 65703-050. At first, she was scheduled to be released two months’ early on February 16, 2016, however, she hit a bit of luck and was released right before the holidays on Dec. 23, 2015.
Joe began his 41-month prison stint at a correctional facility in New Jersey in March 2016, but was moved to a facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was originally slated for an August 2019 release, but the reality star had five months shaved off his sentence. He is now set to be released in March 2019.