'Real Housewives of New Jersey' couple get prison in fraud case

Thu Oct 2, 2014 6:32pm EDT
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By Terence McGinley

NEWARK N.J. (Reuters) - Teresa Giudice, star of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," was sentenced on Thursday to 15 months in prison and her reality television co-star husband to 41 months behind bars in their federal fraud case.

The couple arrived holding hands at U.S. District Court in Newark, where Judge Esther Salas spent hours berating them for years of hiding income and lying to obtain loans.

"I'm not sure you respect this court. I'm not sure you respect the law," Salas said before ordering Giudice, 42, to serve her sentence first, followed by her husband, so their four daughters will have child care.

The judge repeatedly referred to the "imminent deportation" of her 44-year-old husband, Giuseppe Giudice, an Italian citizen better known as Joe, but no further information was immediately available.

He was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $414,588 in restitution and fined $10,000. Teresa Giudice was sentenced to 15 months in prison fined $8,000.

"I can't even explain the pain that I've gone through," she sobbed, wiping her tears. "My daughters are my life. They are the first thing I think about when I wake up."

The judge scolded her for failing to live within the law.

"On one hand you are a savvy businesswoman who writes successful cookbooks and markets herself so well. On the other hand you say you didn't know how to cooperate. It defies logic," Salas said. "In the eyes of the law, it doesn't matter who you are."   Continued...

Teresa and Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, stars of the reality television series "Real Housewives of New Jersey" hold hands as they arrive at U.S. federal court in Newark, New Jersey, October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar