Teresa Giudice, Real Housewives Mother and Wife Surrenders Early

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By Vicki Hyman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com January 5, 2014

Teresa Giudice, the longest-serving “Real Housewives of New Jersey” castmate, is now serving her 15-month sentence for financial fraud at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn.

The reality show breakout, whose star plummeted amid financial scandal and criminal charges, left her Montville Township mansion shortly after midnight in the back seat of a black SUV driven by her lawyer, James J. Leonard Jr. She surrendered just before 3 a.m., seven hours ahead of her scheduled intake, at the minimum-security prison camp that once housed Lauryn Hill and Leona Helmsley, who both served time for tax evasion.

“She was ready,” Leonard said in a statement to NJ Advance Media. “Teresa is a very strong woman, she won’t have any problems in there.”

The early surrender was negotiated with prison officials during a series of phone calls on New Year’s Eve. “When we arrived at Danbury, everyone we encountered was extremely courteous and respectful,” he said.

Teresa and her husband Joe, both 42, pleaded guilty last year to multiple counts of bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, the latter part of a long-running scheme to obtain millions in mortgage and construction loans using falsified tax returns and W-2 forms.

Joe and Teresa Giudice of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” leave the federal courthouse in Newark in 2013.Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger

Following her 15-month sentence, Joe Giudice will serve 41 months in prison and then face deportation because the Italian-born contractor is not a United States citizen.

The couple has four daughters aged 13 to 4, and in her only sit-down interview following the sentencing (with “Real Housewives” producer and “Watch What Happens” host Andy Cohen, natch), Teresa said being separated from her girls is her greatest concern, which was echoed by Leonard in his statement.

“Her primary concern is and always has been her four daughters,” he said. “When she talks about going away, she talks about how it will effect them, not her.”

 

Read full article: http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/index.ssf/2015/01/teresa_giudice_surrendered_at_3_am_she_was_ready.html

Image: People.com

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