Looks like Teresa Giudice will be going to prison after all. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star was sentenced to 15 months behind bars, with a restitution payment of $414,588. She received the ruling from Judge Esther Salas on Thursday, Oct. 2, just a few hours after her husband Joe was sentenced to 41 months.
Per NJ.com, Teresa will serve her sentence before Joe serves his. This will allow for at least one parent to be with their four kids at any given time. The judge is letting both spend the holidays with their kids, so Teresa will report for her term on Jan. 5.
During the hearing, Teresa's attorney requested "downward departure," which, according to NorthJersey.com, would have lowered her sentencing range "to allow probation and possibly home confinement." Judge Salas rejected that request.
An attorney for the prosecution asked that Teresa serve at least 21 months in prison, arguing that a lighter sentence would send the message that you can lie to the court and commit bank fraud if you're famous.
Like her husband, Teresa addressed the court prior to sentencing, at one point breaking down in tears. "Thank you for letting me address the court today. I wrote this last night because I get nervous when I speak," she began. "I speak as a wife, a mother, and a daughter. Today I am blessed but I am also humbled. I hear you and what you are saying, and it is time for me to wake up."
She went on to speak about her four daughters — Gia, 13, Gabriella, 9, Milania, 8, and Audriana, 5 — saying, "My daughters are my life. I don't care about the TV show, or materialistic things. My daughters are all that I care about, and I feel so bad that my 13-year-old has any idea what is going on with all of this. I am more sorry than anyone will know. The silver lining is that I can learn and show my daughters. I know everything happens for a reason, and I hope I can find that reason."
Judge Salas, for her part, stressed that she was disappointed with the stars' handling of their financial disclosure forms. "For a moment I thought about probation, until I read the government's report. What you did in the financial disclosure really sticks in my craw," she said in her ruling. "It's what the court has a problem with."
She went on to say that while Teresa was "not as bad as [her] husband," she was "complicit" in their crimes. "A lot of people are watching, and I need to send a message. It doesn't matter who you are, how famous you are…When I boil down this case, it warrants incarceration," Salas continued. "Mr. Giudice was the captain, and he will have to live with the sentence I gave him. The first mate deserves a little break. I think a slight variance is warranted."
As previously reported, Joe was sentenced earlier on Thursday to 41 months in prison, with a restitution payment of $414,588. He and his wife pleaded guilty back in March to several counts of bank and mail fraud, months after they were indicted on a total of 41 counts in July 2013.
Both Teresa and Joe will sit down for their first post-sentencing interview on Monday, Oct. 6. Bravo confirms to Us Weekly that the couple will appear with Andy Cohen on a special Watch What Happens Live: One-on-One with Teresa and Joe.
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