Update: On Oct. 2, a New Jersey judge sentenced Joe Giudice to 41 months in prison. Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Joe and Teresa Giudice have stayed out of the inter-Housewife drama so far this season, opting instead to focus on building an image of a newly tight-knit family, after last season's constant fighting. Everyone on RHONJ is acting like Joe just got some tragic news, but the Giudices were actually charged with multiple counts of crimes that include bankruptcy, mail, wire, and bank fraud. Now that he's pleaded guilty to several of those charges, Joe Giudice could serve several years in prison, as reported by ABC News.
Sure, Joe has had his fair share of bad fortune lately. His and Teresa's four daughters, who could potentially be left without either parent for several years, have taken the news hard, especially oldest daughter Gia, who's clearly been hurting during this season of RHONJ. And Joe's elderly father died in July, pushing back their sentencing hearing. But the Giudices have pled guilty to some of the charges; that means they committed the crimes, and they should pay the fine and do their time (though hopefully consecutively, so their children won't be alone).
And jail time isn't the only thing Joe has to worry about. He is also in danger of being deported back to his native Italy after serving his sentence. Despite having lived in America since he was one, Joe is technically an Italian immigrant. And even though he's lived in the US for over 40 years, that means he could still potentially be sent away from Teresa and his four daughters, as the amount of money involved in their charges could qualify the crime as an aggravated felony, which is serious enough to trigger deportation.
While the maximum sentence for their crimes is a combined 71 years (35 for Teresa, 36 for Joe), Joe is facing three to four years in prison. However nothing is certain until his sentencing on Sept. 23, when a judge will determine Joe's punishment. It seems highly unlikely he'll escape without doing at least some jail time, especially considering that in addition to the five counts of fraud, Joe has also been charged with falsely obtaining a driver's license after his was suspended following a DUI.
However, the Giudices do have stellar legal advice — entering the plea bargain instead of gong to trial saved them both from getting much harsher sentences. No matter what happens this September, they should consider themselves lucky.
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