Wow! Teresa Giudice sentenced to 15 months in prison.
NEWARK — Reading from a letter she had written, Teresa Giudice addressed the court late in the afternoon as a federal judge weighed what punishment she deserves for her part in a bankruptcy and mortgage fraud scheme.
“I fully take responsibility for my actions,” she said. ” I deeply love my family… My four daughters are my life.”
Her voice faltering, she told the judge: “I wrote this last night because I knew I was going to be nervous… “I’m scared, I’m not going to deny it, I’m really scared,”
Two minutes into the four-minute reading, Teresa’s voice cracked.
“I have heard you. I need to live to do things for myself,” she read. “It’s time for me to wake up… I will make this right no matter what it takes.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow is arguing that Teresa Guidice doesn’t deserve any leniency as the court decides the Real Housewife star’s sentence in a federal fraud case.
Teresa Guidice’s attorney had asked U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to reduce possible penalties for the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star so her sentence could be flexible enough to let her stay at home with her children.
U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas has already turned down a request for “downward departure,” which would lower Teresa’s possible sentencing range to allow probation and possibly home confinement. Salas is considering other proposals by attorney Henry Klingeman.
Watch: ‘Real Housewives’ stars enter the courthouse
The judge has already agreed to stagger the sentences, if she rules that Teresa will serve prison time, so at least one parent would be home with the couple’s four children.
Salas sentenced Joe Giudice earlier today to 41 months and ordered him to pay restitution of $414,588.
Salas lectured the couple about “glaring omissions” in both of their financial disclosure forms. Salas read off recreational vehicles, home furnishings, cars, construction equipment — all not reported to the probation office by the couple but listed on federal prosecutor’s documents.
The judge questioned why Teresa says she has no jewelry on the forms, but her attorney defended that statement, saying her costume jewelry is worth very little. The couple listed $25,000 in furnishings for their $3 million Montville home, an assertion that her attorney said was accurate. He explained that most of the furnishings seen on TV are brought in by the production company.
The judge then went on to list seven other items not listed on any court documents that were later discovered by government investigators.
Photos from the courthouse: ‘Real Housewives’ sentencing day
“How is it that at this point the court is having to go over this?” Salas asked the Giudices’ attorneys.
Both offered little explanation except to say that the couple had hired an accountant and provided that person with their financial information.
The judge said guidelines for Joe Giudice calls for a sentence of 37 to 46 months and 21 to 27 months for Teresa. Neither is eligible for probation unless they are granted a downward departure or variance in the sentencing as arguments continue.
Both face restitution of $414,588.90. Joe faces a fine of between $7,500 and $75,000. Teresa faces a fine of $5,000 to $50,000.
Emerging from a white Mercedes Benz GL450 with tinted windows shortly before 9 a.m., they walked to the courthouse flanked by their lawyers and security guards. They were stone-faced and did not answer questions. She wore a black pants suit with gold shirt; he had on a black suit with blue shirt and black tie.
Giudice and his wife pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in mortgages and loans by falsifying applications over an eight-year period. They also admitted hiding assets from a bankruptcy trustee and Joe Giudice said he had failed to file one year’s tax returns.
Barricades were set up from Mulberry Street to the courthouse steps, leaving a path for the Giudices to enter the courthouse for their 10 a.m. sentencing. The media was out in force with at least 17 camera crews — including Extra, E!, Insider and Inside Edition — shooting their arrival.
Now, reporters who are waiting for the Giudices to leave the courthouse after their sentencing are speculating about whether she’ll get sent to jail. Crews have already set up a staging area for the post-sentencing press conference.”
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