'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Star Teresa Giudice Begins Prison Sentence

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Teresa Giudice

She and her husband pleaded guilty last year to hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitting phony loan applications

DANBURY, Conn. — One of New Jersey's Real Housewives has gone to the big house.

Teresa Giudice entered the facility about 90 miles north of New York City on Monday, a spokesman for the Federal Correctional Institution confirmed.

Giudice pleaded guilty last year to a federal indictment and is serving a 15-month sentence for bankruptcy fraud.

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"Teresa's only concern is and has been that of her four children," her attorney, James Leonard, said in an email Monday. "I know that she was anxious to get in and get this entire nightmare behind her so that she can return home to her family."

Her husband, Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, will start his 41-month sentence on similar charges when Teresa Giudice is released. The couple has four daughters.

They pleaded guilty last year to hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitting phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.

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Joe Giudice also pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes totaling more than $200,000.

At the Giudices' sentencing in October, U.S. District Judge Esther Salas criticized the couple for not disclosing all their assets as required under their plea agreement, calling it "the same pattern of obstruction, concealment and manipulation as they showed in the bankruptcy case."

Still, Salas sentenced Teresa Giudice to a sentence below the range sought by the U.S. attorney's office and staggered her sentence with her husband's so they wouldn't be in prison at the same time and unable to care for their four daughters.

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Joe Giudice is not an American citizen, and he faces an immigration hearing when he completes his sentence and is expected to be deported. His attorney has said Giudice came to the U.S. as an infant and didn't know he wasn't an American citizen until he was an adult.

Joe Giudice also pleaded guilty in state court in October to unlawful use of identification in a case involving a bogus driver's license. His 18-month sentence will run concurrent with his federal sentence.

Last month, Teresa Giudice sued former attorney James Kridel, whose firm handled the couple's bankruptcy case, alleging legal malpractice and negligence.

Reached by phone last week, Kridel called the lawsuit "ridiculous" and denied the claims.

"We did what we were supposed to do," he said. "We can only rely on the facts that were provided to us. I don't wish her any ill will, but I would have preferred a 'thank you' rather than a lawsuit."

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