This week Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice finally faced the inevitable and pled guilty for their 41 counts of federal fraud charges. Teresa has expressed her shame for what this has done to her daughters and vowed not to speak publicly about the matter again. Until Barbara Walters or Oprah comes a'callin' I'm sure!
Faced with an insurmountable indictment, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star is subject to a sentence of 21 – 27 months but Judge Esther Salas has the final say in just how long – if any – Teresa will serve in prison. Perhaps Joe may just be headed to the slammer solo! Teresa's attorney explained to People that Teresa has a strategy for convincing the Judge why she should be permitted to remain a free lady.
"Teresa's plan is to explain to the court both how she ended up in this mess to begin with as well as how she has made a life for herself and the girls that will see them through it," her lawyer Henry Klingeman revealed. "We have the right to ask for probation and we are going to."
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"Her hope is that the judge will weigh the wrongdoing against many wonderful accomplishments to justify a fair sentence," Mr. Klingeman explains. "By fair, we will be asking for a sentence that punishes the wrongdoing, but allows Teresa and the girls to have an optimistic future. As for specifics, we will spend the time between now and the sentencing date gathering material that will go into a written brief to be filed with the court as well as a presentation at the sentencing hearing itself." Teresa and Joe owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, back taxes, and other levies so she is apparently going to use her ability to pay these fines as a reason to stay out of jail.
Still, Joe and Teresa's crisis PR representative Wendy Feldman admits the couple is "starting now" to prepare for the inevitable that one or both of them will do time, yet they remain hopeful that they can obtain leniency with the Judge.
"Teresa and Joe have great respect for the process," Wendy insists. "Teresa and Joe will present their side to the government," Feldman shared with E! News. "We try to paint a picture of who they are as people. It's post conviction. What we do now is we show you the person, not the crime."
Wendy concedes that Teresa and Joe are not your ordinary defendants given their "very unique circumstance." She adds, "There has never been a case of this magnitude involving a celebrity and his wife from a hit show. It could very well be a case of reverse celebrity justice."
Weighing in, bankruptcy expert Lee M. Pearlman, Esq explains that the final decision will come down to a complicated formula that involves several factors.
"The federal sentencing guidelines are going to govern specifically how the judge is going to decide here," Perlman specifies. "There are two factors: the criminal history in terms of the criminal sentencing guidelines and the conduct associated with the offense. It's typically advisory and judges are free to depart from that, but federal sentencing guidelines are complex."
[Photo Credit: TNYF/WENN.com]
TELL US – WILL TERESA GET LUCKY WITH PROBATION?