Earlier today, Joe Giudice was sentenced to 41 months in prison. In both cases, Judge Esther Salas sent a clear message that their celebrity status would not result in favorable treatment.
“I need to send a message. In the eyes of the law it doesn’t matter who you are. There are consequences to pay,” she told Teresa, according to local reports.
The Giuduces pleaded guilty in March to a Sopranos-style scheme involving phony loan applications, and bankruptcy fraud involving mortgages and construction loans.
Specifically, the pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three counts of bankruptcy fraud. The plea deal was a far cry from the original 39-count indictment that could have sent them to prison for up to 50 years each.
As it was, Joe was looking at 37 to 46 months in jail, under federal sentencing guidelines. Teresa could have received up to 27 months in prison.
Prosecutors were seeking a 21-month sentence and pointedly raise their celebrity status in calling for a tough penalty, according to the gossip site.
While the judge went somewhat easier on Teresa, he rejected her plea for probation, community service and house arrest in lieu of a jail sentence.
She argued that the couple’s four children would have to be split up if she and Joe went to prison.
The judge got around that by ordering Teresa to serve her sentence first, according to gossip site TMZ.
The judge also gave her three months to get her affairs in order. She must report to a federal penitentiary on Jan. 5.
No word yet on whether she will returned to the Bravo reality show. In a bid for leniency, she threw the show under the bus and claimed it was fake. She said her portrayal was scripted and manipulated by producers to make her look tough and mean.
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