NEWARK, N.J. >> One of the stars of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” will be trading the drama of reality TV for prison while, in a legal cliffhanger, his wife awaits her fate.
Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice was sentenced Thursday to more than three years in prison on conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges, but the judge said she’s still undecided about wife Teresa’s fate.
Joe Giudice was also ordered to pay $414,000 in restitution.
U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas slammed them for not disclosing all their assets in a presentencing report. She said they didn’t include all the recreational vehicles they own.
But the judge gave Joe Guidice credit for helping people rebuild after Superstorm Sandy and other storms.
He made a brief statement in which he apologized and said he had disgraced many people.
The couple had pleaded guilty in March, admitting they hid assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitted phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.
The judge said if she decides to send his wife to prison, Teresa would serve her sentence first so Joe could stay home with the couple’s four children.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Joe Giudice faced a potential sentence of 37 to 46 months and Teresa Giudice could get 21 to 27 months, though the judge could deviate up or down from those ranges. Lawyers for Teresa Giudice, 42, remain hopeful that she may be spared a prison sentence and instead receive probation, noting the need to care for the couple’s four young daughters.
Joe Giudice, an Italian citizen, could be deported after his prison term is completed. His attorney has said Giudice came to the U.S. as an infant and didn’t know he wasn’t an American citizen.
Both Giudices pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three types of bankruptcy fraud. Joe Giudice, 43, also pleaded guilty to failing to file a tax return for 2004, though he acknowledged he didn’t file taxes on income of approximately $1 million from 2004 to 2008.