Yesterday, I did a live post of the Giudice Sentencing which you sort of had to be there and on top of things to be able to follow. Also it’s getting to the point where we need a fresh place to comment so I am going to do a chronological post summary of yesterday’s events now that I have time to sort this all out.
First, Tre and Joe rolled up to the courthouse in their giant white Mercedes SUV replete with bodyguards. Tre was in full face camera ready makeup with a couple extra heads of other peoples hair sewn in. Her hair was down so she could use the hide your face technique. Court began at 10 am and immediately it was obvious that the judge was pissed off. Reporters in the courtroom had many of the same issues as those of us outside the courtroom. When was a good time to sneak to the bathroom to tweet? Thanks to NJ.com ‘s @VickiHy we were able to get the gist of what was going on in the packed courtroom.
First we need to remember how exactly these criminal masterminds found themselves in this situation. They lied. The falsified W-2 forms to support their lies. They lie to dozens of banks to receive dozens of mortgages on their properties. If you missed it, the first 39 counts are outlined here. For those who think it was all Joe, Teresa knew exactly what she was doing. She lied about being a real estate agent who make $15,000 a month. She lied about several other jobs. They spent all the money and then thought they would just file for bankruptcy once the fun was over. This was their biggest mistake. They went to bankruptcy court and lied some more. They lied about assets. They claimed they had no rental property and did not include the income, but checks were signed by Teresa and deposited into her Fabilicious account. They lied about many other things. The Feds eventually indicted them on 41 counts. Because the stole millions of dollars and lied.
So imagine how happy Judge Esther Salas was yesterday to have the lying liars who lie show up in court with their attorneys to review their pre sentencing documents and discover that….wait for it…they lied ON THEIR PRE-SENTENCING documents. Both of them, separately lied about things like cars, RVs, furniture, jewelry, handbags, clothes, construction equipment and Lord knows what else. They lied about the value of the things they did claim and did not even stick to the same lies they lied on their bankruptcy forms. The prosecutor pointed out all the lies to the judge and then the judge spent the next couple of HOURS lecturing their dumbasses, asking for clarification, hammering their individual attorneys and asking for explanations. What she got were excuses. Joe’s dad died. The accountant is super busy. They forgot they had all that stuff. They didn’t think it was important. So for the first few hours all we were hearing was that Judge Salas was really, really mad. We also found out that the reason the sentencing had to be postponed was because they were four months late getting these forms in to the probation officer. It took an extra four months for them to come up with these ridiculous lies.
Then Joe’s attorney made his plea to the judge for leniency. A lot of his position was based on deportation. He presented his case to the judge as if Joe is sure to be deported after all of this is over and the family would be forever separated. Oh, this guy. His attorney said that the Joe you see on RHONJ is not the real Joe. It’s all fake! He tried to get them off the show but they refused because they had “no other source of income.” That is interesting. Or another lie. We have eyes, we see the huge house. We see the expensive vehicles. We even see Joe driving them without a license. The drama is fake but all that expensive shit got in that house somehow. He also said that Joe going to college would traumatize the children. Joe’s attorney said that Joe’s attempt to exonerate his wife show what a great guy he his. He read the now infamous letter from Juicy’s soon to be homeless mama stating Joe should just get “a slap on the wrist.” Joe read the following statement, “I stand here humiliated before the court and my family and society. I disgraced many people, including my wife and four daughters. I take full responsibility for my actions. I promise to be a better person.” Those present in the courtroom felt the judge wasn’t buying at all.
Joe got 41 months in jail (3 1/2 years) followed by two years of supervised release, a $10,000 fine plus $414,000 in restitution. I don’t understand how the judge arrived at the $414,000 figure but that money will likely be divided between the banks who are federally insured. It seems like a very low amount in restitution, so the lies on the forms must have actually helped them get that figure down.
Then the judge took a very brief break before sentencing Teresa. You know by this time her meds were wearing off and she was really sweating it.
Teresa’s attorney asked Judge Salas to downgrade Teresa’s plea deal sentencing range according to reports. It was reported that the judge declined to downgrade. At that point we assumed she was still looking at 21-27 months. My understanding now is that related to home confinement more than length of sentence. At some point her attorney argued for home confinement. The tweets seemed to indicate that happened after the judge already ruled. It was a bit confusing because no one wanted to leave the courtroom to tweet and miss Teresa’s sentence.
At some point, Teresa read a statement to the court. The order of her statements may not be exactly accurate as I was following a half dozen twitter feeds who were tweeting different things. The gist goes like this, “I’m blessed, but today I am also humbled. I fully take responsibility for my actions. This is not how I was raised. I am more sorry than anyone will ever know. My four daughters are my life. I don’t care about the TV show. I’m scared, I’m not going to deny it, I’m really scared. It’s time for me to wake up … my daughters are my life that’s what keeps me going. I’ve done so much crying.I don’t care about the TV show or materialistic things … we lost my father-in-law and that was the first grandparent we lost.Now I have even more to give. I will take this experience and continue to do the right thing. I know in my heart everything happens for a reason and I’ve found my reason. I will make this right.” (She may not have repeated things, again there were multiple tweets combined in the quote above.)
The prosecutor’s response was , “she thumbed her nose at the court…now she wants sympathy. It’s business as usual.”
The judge eventually gave Teresa 15 months plus two years supervised release, plus an $8,000 fine. The $414,000 in restitution is shared between Tre and Joe which means Teresa will be paying it by herself. That’s probably another reason restitution was so low. Plus they have all of the other creditors still coming after them. The judge said that “her gut” tells her that Teresa needs to be in prison. The judge also said that the Giudices do not seem to understand or respect the law. She lectured them against future offenses. At this point everyone reporting was exhausted and there was not as much detail. Just a lot of people tweeting that Teresa was sobbing and crying and hysterical when the sentence was handed down. Those tweets continued for a good while. Teresa left wearing her sunglasses and her hair covering her face.
Teresa will serve her sentence first beginning on January 5, 2015 at a federal penitentiary that will be selected by the Federal Bureau of Prisons folks. I just read that the Judge admitted she extended the time for Tre to self-surrender so they could all be home for Christmas. Joe will follow after she returns. His attorney is asking for alcohol rehab in prison so hey, he may end up in Kentucky with Apollo! If he is granted the alcohol program, just like Apollo, it will knock some time off of his sentence.
Do you think the sentences were fair? Too long? Too short?