Teresa Giudice's Legal & Prison History, From Filing For Bankruptcy To Her Upcoming Release

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the Giudice family. Matriarch and reality TV queen Teresa Giudice is set for a Dec. 23 prison release, which means that she will be home just in time to see her husband and daughters and take part in Christmas Eve and Christmas Day traditions. After almost a year behind bars, Teresa will move on to the next portion of her sentence: home confinement until February. But how did she get to this point? Do you need a full refresher on Teresa Giudice's prison stay? It's been a long, hard road for the queen cast member on Real Housewives of New Jersey, and it's been pretty confusing, too.

Teresa's life has been a nightmare over the past few years. It's safe to say that she is probably one of the most talked about Real Housewives of all time. Almost every day there has been a new Teresa Giudice centered story, so the facts can be a lot to keep up with. When and how did this whole mess start? From the rumors of financial trouble, to the charges against Teresa, to the sentencing, to her time spent behind bars, here is a complete timeline of this sad ordeal.

Filing For Bankruptcy

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Joe and Teresa Giudice filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. The reality TV stars were accused of hiding assets, which was when their troubles really escalated.

Denying Rumors Of Financial Trouble

There was talk for a long time about the Giudices having financial issues and living beyond their means. In 2010, Teresa was very heated when people suggested that her family home was in foreclosure. She did not respond well to foreclosure-related conversation during RHONJ episodes, reunion tapings, Watch What Happens Live appearances, and even on Twitter.

Getting A 39-Count Indictment

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On July 29, 2013, it was reported that Teresa and Joe were facing a 39-count indictment for bank fraud and tax evasion. It was alleged that they overstated their income to get loans and mortgages in addition to withholding information when they filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Addressing The Charges

The day after the indictment, the couple went to court to address the charges. They were each released on $500,000 bail.

Pleading Not Guilty

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Teresa and Joe pleaded not guilty to all charges when they were arraigned on Aug. 14, 2013. A judge set a preliminary trial date for Oct. 8, 2013, which ended up being moved several times.

Facing More Charges

In November 2013, Joe and Teresa pleaded not guilty to two additional charges for bank fraud and loan application fraud.

Pleading Guilty

The Giudices pleaded guilty to fraud charges on March 4, 2014 and awaited their sentencing.

Hearing The Sentence

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On Oct. 2, 2014, Teresa was handed her sentence: a 15-month prison stay. Her jail time was later reduced by two months, meaning her release would be in December 2015 instead of February 2016.

Reporting To Jail

Teresa surrendered herself at three in the morning on Jan. 5, 2015 to begin her time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut.

Coming Home

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Teresa is set to return home on Dec. 23, 2015. This means that she will be a home a day early to prepare for Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrations with her family. As for Joe, he is set to report to prison in March.

It's been a long journey for the reality TV star, but there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel now.