'Real Housewives of New Jersey' star begins prison sentence

Mon Jan 5, 2015 10:23am EST
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

(Reuters) - Teresa Giudice of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" reality television series surrendered on Monday to begin a 15-month prison sentence for fraud and hiding income to support a lavish lifestyle, according to her lawyer's office and a prison spokesman.

Giudice and her husband, Giuseppe Giudice of Towaco, New Jersey, entered plea deals in U.S. District Court in March, admitting to bankruptcy fraud and lying to obtain loans.

She was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and he received a 41-month sentence.

Giudice surrendered at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, a low-security facility, according to the office of her lawyer, James J. Leonard Jr., and a prison spokesman.

Giudice was ordered to serve her sentence first, followed by her husband, so their four daughters will have child care.

"She was ready," Leonard said in a statement to NJ.com. "Teresa is a very strong woman, she won't have any problems in there."

Giuseppe Giudice, an Italian citizen better known as Joe, is expected to be deported when he completes his sentence.

He also pleaded guilty to failure to file tax returns on income totaling nearly $1 million.   Continued...

Teresa Giudice, 41, arrives at the Federal Court in Newark, New Jersey, March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz