'RHONJ' Star Teresa Giudice Sentenced to 15 Months in Jail
By Jen Cady
It was an emotional day in court for Teresa Giudice’s family.
Following the Real Housewives of New Jersey star’s husband, Joe Giudice, being ordered to serve 41 months in jail and pay $414,000 in restitutions, it was Teresa's turn to face U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas in a Newark, N.J., courtroom. And like her husband, she was also sentenced to jail time, she will serve 15 months in prison.
The reality star will be allowed to spend the holidays with her family and must turn herself in by Jan. 5. After she completes her sentence, Joe will serve his as the judge has agreed to stagger the sentences so that their four daughters will not be parentless.
Breaking down in tears as she read a letter to the court, Teresa swore she didn't care about her Bravo reality show or materialistic things, only her family and her daughters. But she notes, "It's time for me to wake up...I will make this right no matter what it takes."
Originally facing 21 to 27 months in prison, the judge granted Teresa a lighter sentence given that she has no criminal history, has paid her taxes, is a devoted mother to her four daughters, cares for her elderly parents, is facing the likely deportation of her husband, and participates in various charitable endeavors. The judge also took pains to express her approval of what appeared to be a genuine display of remorse by Teresa.
While her lawyers fought for no jail time, asking for home confinement instead, the prosecution object to that plan, saying that the house was built on fraudulent loans.
In another attempt to gain leniency for his wife and soften her sentence, Joe took full responsibility for the fraudulent acts, offering this statement to the court, according to NJ.com:
"I stand here humiliated before the court and my family and society. I disgraced many people, including my wife and four daughters. I take full responsibility for my actions. I promise to be a better person."
Judge Salas was hard on the couple but also expressed empathy, telling Joe after his statement, "What you did in this case doesn't define you as a man…You have a lot to live for."
The Giucides' fraud charges stem from 39-count indictment filed in July 2013 that included bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud. Joe was also accused of failing to file his taxes from 2004-2008. This all added up to Teresa and Joe of earning more than $5 million from their fraudulent behavior. They pleaded guilty to the charges in March 2014.
In July, Teresa sat down with ET and shared what she was feeling about possibly facing prison time. Check out the chat, below: