A star of the ‘reality’ show ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ has been forced to face genuine reality. She has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for financial fraud. The tale of Teresa Giudice; the real New Jersey housewife.
Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe or ‘Joe,’ were convicted of various offenses including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and lying on mortgage and loan applications. Thursday U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas sentenced the couple to prison. Teresa will serve 15 months beginning in January. She must pay restitution in the amount of $414,000, and will face two years of ‘supervised release.’ Giuseppe received a three-and-one-half-year sentence, and may face deportation after he serves his time. Their sentences will be staggered so that their four daughters will continue to receive parental care.
A blast of reality hit the Bravo Channel’s star as she sobbed in court, and told the judge that she was terribly frightened. She said she needed to ‘wake up,’ and ‘learn to do things for herself.’
Judge Salas stated that she believed Teresa was remorseful and considered probation, but then decided that the fraudulent actions deserved incarceration.
After the couple pled guilty last March, they continued to appear on ‘the Real Housewives of New Jersey,’ stating the show was their only source of income. Their defense team begged for leniency citing the four children.
As it always is in such cases, the couple was required to produce a list of assets prior to being sentenced. Prosecutors revealed to the judge that Teresa Giudice failed to include several cars, ATVs, did not claim to own any jewelry, and she listed the value of the furniture in her three million dollar home as $25,000. Giuseppe failed to file tax returns for the previous three years.
Judge Salas cited ‘hidden assets’ as her reason for denying leniency in the case. She then gave advice to the couple. She told them to demonstrate discipline for their children. She said, ‘if you don’t have it, don’t spend it;’ and if they lose friends because they can’t afford designer clothes or ride around in a new Mercedes, then they weren’t friends at all.
In addition to being a member of the reality show, Teresa has written three best-selling cook books, and was a contestant on ‘The Celebrity Apprentice.’