Teresa has agreed to pay $200,000 back to the IRS prior to her sentencing date of July 8, 2014 as partial satisfaction of her debt. She is also required to refile all of her taxes from 2000 through 2011 with all necessary documentation. She is required to make necessary payments for all affected tax years prior to her sentencing date. In the event she is unable to make such payments in full, she must set up a mutually agreed upon plan with the IRS. There is much discussion about forfeiture of assets related to the crimes, which would be her properties, as far as I can determine.
Oddly, her individual plea also includes a clause that states if SHE is not a US citizen, her plea deal COULD make her subject to immigration proceedings which MAY cause her to be deportable. (I haven’t read Joe’s plea yet, it may just be that put that in there for both of them as sort of a legal boilerplate sort of thing.)
The FEDS agree to drop charges 2-14 16-21 and 26-35. Tre pled guilty to Count 1, Count 15, Count 23 and Count 36 for a total of four counts.
Count One: Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Maximum Sentence 20 years/ $250K Fine
Count 15 : Bankruptcy Fraud- Concealment Maximum Sentence 5 years./ $250K Fine
Count 23 : Bankruptcy Fraud- False Oaths Maximum Sentence 5 years./ $250K Fine
Count 36: Failure to make a Tax Return Maximum Sentence 5 years./ $250K Fine
There is a lot of harsh wording after that and the inclusion that Teresa could have a maximum of three years of supervised release (the new term for federal parole more or less) after her prison term has been served.
So based on that Teresa just pleaded to charges that have a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.
BUT HERE ARE THE DETAILS OF THE PLEA DEAL
This is where things get interesting. I won’t bore you will all of the details about Federal felonies. Short version is they are all numbered based on a whole lot of weird shit with murdering tons of small children in a Federal Court room being a level 36 and other lesser offenses work their way down from there. Teresa’s charge has a baseline of 7. She caught 12 more points for frauding the government out of such a large amount of money. So that takes her to 19. Lying about it all under oath gives her two more putting her level of displeasing the FEDS at a 21. But, there are things that can reduce your level as well.
Teresa’s lawyers tried to get her number lowered by saying she had minimal involvement. The FEDS just laughed and laughed. Too bad. That would have reduced her number by four points. After what I imagine was much high-powered lawyering by Tre’s attorney, the did get the FEDS to agree that she was a “minor participant” giving her a two point reduction. THIS WAS WHERE JOE LIKELY AGREED TO TAKE THE FALL FOR TRE AS MUCH AS HE COULD. So the FEDS dropped her to level 19, I am ASSUMING due to JOE taking a hit on his deal. Again, I have not read it yet. Then there was a bunch of stuff about admitting guilt and responsibility that gave her another three point reduction. Tre’s plea put her charges with regard to sentencing at a level 16.
Still with me?
Okay, so best I can tell, Level 16 is the beginning of bad stuff happening, you know like spending lots of time in orange and learning how to make apple pie with no apples and no oven while incarcerated. From what I can tell, Teresa has the better lawyer of the two, or maybe he just has the client with less legal issues, but here is where things get all fancypants. Teresa’s lawyer is retaining the right to request a further downgrade of her magic number (16) under the Family Ties and Responsibilities laws. The FEDS have said they will let him do that, but it ain’t part of the agreement and they will fight any such motion. In other words, Teresa’s lawyer was NOT able to make the “but I am a Mommy and I can’t go to prison!” plea stick with the FEDS, BUT they did allow him to try it with the judge all he likes, but they will be fighting him on that at the sentencing hearing.
So the plea deal for a Level 16 for someone with no criminal history is 21-27 months. That is what both parties have agreed to with the stipulation that Teresa is going to ask for her level to be lowered because she is a mother of four at some point. Here is the thing. I can find no set guideline for the downward departure of a sentencing level based on “Family Ties and Responsibilities.” I can find case-law where the judge has gone down ten levels! based on “family ties and responsibilities” ( Source) The article I read indicates that Family Ties and Responsibilities really should not be a factor considered for the purposes of downgrading the sentence below the federal guidelines, in this case, 21-27 months. In that case the defendant was a single mother of a special needs child. But Teresa has a crackerjack law team, and they plan to fight hard for this at the sentencing trial. Personally, I think the FEDS will argue that the Giudices have plenty of family to care for the girls while Tre does or her two years, or at least argue for staggered sentencing if it is such a major deal.
The bottom line is, the FEDS agreed to 21-27 months, the judge COULD still do whatever he wants which ranges from throwing the book at her and giving her 35 years, to accepting the plea deal as is, or siding with Teresa’s defense team and giving a lesser sentence than the federal guidelines of 21-27 months. I’m only a fake Internet lawyer, but I expect her to do some prison time of two years or less depending on how good her lawyer really is, with perhaps some additional house arrest.
So that was a lot of reading and research to say, we still really won’t know anything until sentencing, but now we know the terms of her plea deal. Meanwhile, I am going to take a short break and then read Juicy’s plea deal which I expect to be longer and much more complicated. And by short break I mean beginning my Fat Tuesday celebration, so expect my explanation of Joe’s plea deal to be even less coherent than this one. Meanwhile, it seems Orange is the New Housewives….