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New Jersey celebrity couple sentenced in fraud case

New Jersey celebrity couple sentenced in fraud case

On Oct. 2, Joe and Theresa Giudice were sentenced to 41 and 15 months in federal prison respectively. They were found guilty of bankruptcy and conspiracy charges and plead guilty to those charges in March. The couple allegedly filed phony mortgage and business loan documents and hid assets from bankruptcy creditors. While the judge briefly considered probation for Mrs. Giudice, she got jail time after hiding assets from the court on a probation form.

In an unusual move, the judge staggered the sentences to enable one parent to stay at home with their children. Mrs. Giudice will serve her sentence first because her husband is not a United States citizen. He may be deported back to Italy after finishing his prison sentence. In addition to the conspiracy and bankruptcy charges, Mr. Guidice plead guilty to failing to file a tax return in 2004.

In addition to spending time in jail, the couple must also repay $414,000, and a payment of $10,000 must be made immediately. In a statement, Mrs. Guidice said that she was scared and humbled and would take responsibility for her actions. She will surrender to authorities on Jan. 5. A representative for the couple said that they would take time to reflect on what happened and learn from it.

Crimes such as mortgage fraud may come with stiff penalties such as jail time and restitution. However, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help those who are facing such charges in court. It may also be possible to negotiate a plea that may result in financial penalties without any jail time added on.

Source: CBS New York, "‘Real Housewives Of New Jersey’ Stars Joe And Teresa Giudice Sentenced To Prison", October 02, 2014

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