Reality television star Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, 43, of The Real Housewives of New Jersey was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in prison on Thursday, October 2, according to NorthJersey.com. The verdict comes after Giudice and his wife Teresa, 42, pleaded guilty in March to federal fraud charges involving bankruptcy fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and failure to pay taxes. Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in prison and two years probation compared to Joe’s 41 months, but each were ordered to pay $414,588 in restitution in addition to their jail sentences.
“Both Giudices pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three types of bankruptcy fraud,” the article said. “Joe also pleaded guilty to failing to file a tax return for 2004, though he acknowledged that he didn’t file taxes on income of approximately $1 million from 2004 to 2008.”
As attorney Todd Unger, experienced in these areas of tax law, told E! News in July 2013, the couple’s public image likely did not help their case: “These high-publicized cases serve as the best advertisement for the government … People know when celebrities get in trouble and that creates a fear, especially with the IRS.”
In order to allow for one member of the couple to be with the four Giudice daughters — Audriana (5), Milania (8), Gabriella (9) and Gia (13) — U.S. District Judge Esther Salas agreed to stagger the couple’s jail sentences. Teresa will go first, beginning on January 5, 2015.
During the case, it was revealed that Mr. Giudice is an Italian citizen and, as such, could be deported when his prison term ends. Joe’s attorney said his client was previously unaware that he is not an American citizen, as he came to the country when he was only an infant.
In court Thursday, Joe made a brief statement, apologizing for his illegal actions and admitting he had disgraced others through them. Teresa also addressed the court, saying she took full responsibility for what she’d done and would work to “make this right no matter what it takes.”