After being found guilty on a number of fraud charges, 42-year-old Teresa Giudice, cast member of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”, started her 15-month prison sentence this morning. According to officials, Teresa turned herself in at 3:00 a.m. to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut where she will serve out her time for tax and financial fraud.
Of the 15 months, she will most likely complete about 13 but only if she follows all the rules and regulations just as other inmates are required to do. Upon her release next year, her husband Joe Giudice will start his own sentence of 41 months for the same charges, as well as a few others. When he gets released, there is a good chance he will also be deported back to Italy since he never obtained US citizenship.
In her absence, Joe will be responsible for caring for the couple’s four children, Gia 13, Gabriela 10, Milania 8, and Audriana 5. Many people believe that both Teresa and Joe got off too light, especially considering that the two were initially indicted on 39 counts of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements on several loan applications, each.
For Joe, he had additional charges pertaining to federal income tax fraud for the years 2004 through 2008. Of all the charges, Joe pled guilty to five while Teresa pled guilty to four. Together, the couple is also required to make a significant amount of restitution to the people who were scammed.
Since being found guilty, Teresa has drawn a lot of attention but not in a good way. In the past couple of months, she has been spotted shopping at high-end boutiques, taking lavish vacations, carrying a $2,000 purse, and reportedly, funding her eldest daughter’s video in the tune of $10,000.
When asked how she had prepared her four daughters for her long-term absence, she said the girls were told she was going to jail to work on a book. Teresa also admitted that only the two oldest girls actually know where she is going and why. Up until the very end, she was looking for ways to make money and get out of her prison sentence, claiming her attorneys did not properly advise her.
The fact that Teresa surrendered seven hours ahead of her scheduled time to some is a good sign that she is now taking responsibility for her actions and ready to make a major change. However, even some close family members and friends are doubtful.
After all, people have been trying to help her prepare for her stint behind bars but Teresa seemed to be in denial about everything. Only time will tell if she and her husband have in fact learned their lesson and can move on to a life without crime.