Teresa Giudice's prison life is officially headed down a familiar path ... because a N.J. judge ordered the reality TV star to serve her time behind the bars made famous by "Orange Is The New Black."
After her request to spend 12 of her 15 months at a halfway house was denied ... Teresa got the news Wednesday that she'll be headed to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, CT.
Strangely enough ... Piper Kerman, the author whose memoir inspired "OITNB" was similarly sentenced to 15 months at Danbury ... for money laundering.
Teresa's been begging the judge for weeks not to send her to Danbury ... which the show depicts as being one of the worst prisons in the U.S.
Don't drop the soap, Teresa!
Prosecutor Says No Way You Louse
To Half Way House
10/21/2014 9:47 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Teresa Giudice wants to go only half way when it comes to serving her prison sentence ... but prosecutors are now saying over their dead bodies.
Giudice is asking the judge for mercy -- to allow her to serve most of her sentence in a half way house. But we just obtained a letter prosecutors sent to the judge ... vehemently objecting ... claiming the judge made it clear she needed prison punishment, and nothing less.
Teresa had sent a letter to the judge -- which we also obtained -- in which she seems to say she has a right under a law called The Second Chance Act to spend 12 out of the 15 months in the half way house.
But prosecutors say the law doesn't give convicts the right to have their punishment watered down, so all her bellyaching should be ignored.
Cops Plea In Driver's License Scam
10/15/2014 1:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
You can call Joe Giudice a wise guy -- already looking at 41 months in prison for a federal fraud conviction ... he wisely copped a plea Wednesday in a different fraud case, after prosecutors made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Giudice agreed to plead guilty to charges of driver's license fraud. He was busted in 2011 for impersonating his brother to get a license ... because his own was suspended due to a DUI.
Prosecutors threatened him with a 10-year prison sentence -- which would be tacked onto his federal sentence -- and raised the possibility of immediate deportation.
Instead, he accepted a plea deal for an 18-month sentence ... but he will be allowed to serve it at the same time as his federal sentence. In other words -- he won't serve any additional time.
Despite the deal ... "The Real Housewives of NJ" star was in a sour mood on the way into court -- telling photogs, "I'll kick every one of yous in the head."
NeNe Needs To Check Herself
... Then Cut Me A Check
10/15/2014 8:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Kenya Moore has a message for NeNe Leakes ... I'm rich enough to make an eyeball-popping donation to charity ... so now it's your turn to pony up, bitch.
Kenya tells TMZ ... she made good on the challenge NeNe made on the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" reunion show ... by cutting a $20,000 check to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.
NeNe had said Kenya was all smoke and mirrors and didn't have that kind of loot ... but now that Kenya has stepped up, she's calling NeNe out on her own words -- that she'd match the $20K.
We reached out to NeNe to see if she'll make good. So far, no response.
As for Kenya ... she says she chose to give to Detroit because she grew up there, and the city means a lot to her. According to the deal, NeNe has to earmark her $20K for the same charity.
Here's $200,000 Judge
Now Where Do I Get Another $200K?
10/14/2014 2:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Teresa Giudice has paid approximately half of the restitution she owes as a result of her criminal conviction ... and it seems more than coincidental that she came up with the loot on the heels of a post-conviction, exclusive interview with Bravo.
TMZ has confirmed ... Teresa paid $200,000 that will go toward the $414,588 restitution ordered by the court. Although there are reports Teresa paid the money Tuesday, we've learned it was paid before then.
What's interesting ... just a week ago Teresa and Joe sat down with Andy Cohen for a 2-hour interview ... and our sources say Bravo lined their pockets handsomely.
Translation ... crime doesn't pay ... but it can definitely help you get back in the black.
Forced To Squeal
About Apollo's Crimes
10/13/2014 5:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Phaedra Parks has been quiet about her husband's criminal activities, and what she knew about them -- but now she's being forced to open up in an upcoming deposition.
Phaedra will be grilled by attorneys for author Angela Stanton -- who Phaedra sued for defamation. Stanton wrote a book suggesting Parks knew all about Apollo Nida's illegal activities. Phaedra was already deposed once in the case, but stonewalled attorneys when it came to Apollo.
Now, a judge has ordered Phaedra to sit for a 2nd deposition and answer those questions. Stanton's lawyers say they need the info from Parks, so they can mount a proper defense in the defamation case.
Teresa and Joe Giudice
No More Financial Funny Business
Ordered to Keep $$$ Separate
10/12/2014 7:37 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Teresa Giudice and hubby Joe Giudice are each criminals, but together they are diabolically criminal ... so says the sentencing judge who ordered each of them to put a wall between the other's finances.
According to court docs ... the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars were ordered to keep their personal and business accounts completely separate.
They've each been ordered to pay more than $400K in restitution. It appears at the very least the judge does not want Teresa to pay Joe's debt and vice versa. Fact is ... it's unclear what Joe really does for work, so he's the one who apparently is screwed by the order.
Another point in the docs ... the judge said she did not consider "anonymous letters and phone calls from the public in regards to sentencing."
We're guessing those letters and calls did not contain the word "mercy" ... at least for Joe.
Teresa and Joe Giudice
I Got Some Prison Advice For You
Says 'Freeway' Rick Ross
10/9/2014 9:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars Teresa and Joe Giudice could get their heads cracked open in prison if they don't follow one simple rule ... so says convicted drug trafficker 'Freeway' Rick Ross.
Rick spent 13 years in the pokey after his L.A. drug empire collapsed in the '90s ... so he knows a thing or two about life behind bars -- and he's got one important piece of advice to maintain the peace.
Here's a hint ... less Real Housewives ... more Jerry Springer.
Just watch. Especially if your last name is Giudice.
Teresa and Joe Giudice
Bravo Just Paid Our Restitution
... For Sit-Down Interview
10/6/2014 12:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Teresa and Joe Giudice scored a HUGE payday before shipping off to prison ... a deal so sweet the restitution they owe to the government has almost been whittled down to nothing.
The two "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars snagged $325,000 for a two-on-one interview with Bravo head honcho Andy Cohen ... sources close to the deal tell us.
We're told the network offered $275K for Teresa alone, but kicked in another $50K to have her less interesting husband onboard.
The Giudices owe around $400K in restitution -- which means all of the money they made will go directly towards paying off their debt ... but days after the sentencing they can now see the light at the end of the financial tunnel.
Let's hope they remember to pay taxes on the $325K.
UPDATE: Bravo disputes the amount.
Leaves Cast Members Fuming
Before Pre-Prison Reunion
10/5/2014 3:51 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Some people eat their favorite meals, some people say their goodbyes ... but Teresa Giudice prepared for prison by pissing off her castmates -- showing up over 4 hours late to their reunion taping.
Sources close to the production tell us her "Real Housewives of New Jersey" co-stars were furious about the tardiness Sunday afternoon ... same for Bravo head honcho Andy Cohen.
And what's worse ... we're told Giudice continued to delay the process once they began filming -- making producers continually start and stop the taping because Teresa said she was "going through a lot" and needed a break.
Her list of visitors in prison will be short.
Teresa & Joe Giudice
We've Got Nothin' To Say
Except to Andy Cohen
10/3/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Teresa and Joe Giudice blew past reporters Thursday after they were sentenced to prison ... but it wasn't because they were too upset to speak ... it's because they were ordered to shut their traps until Andy Cohen could ask them, Wasssup?
Our Giudice sources tell us ... the felonious couple will break their silence Monday on a special "Watch What Happens Live: One-on-One with Teresa and Joe."
It's pretty funny ... when Teresa was begging the judge for mercy she was quick to say she didn't give a crap about TV anymore. What she FAILED to disclose is that she had a secret deal with Andy!
As for what's on Andy's docket ... we're told he'll discuss the Giudice's fears, family and fraudulent ways.
Gotta say ... brilliant move on Bravo's part. And ... it's not like the judge can sentence her for lying ... something Teresa's clearly got down pat.
Sentenced to Prison for 15 Months
10/2/2014 1:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Teresa Giudice has just been sentenced to prison for 15 months ... she was hysterical, but it could have been a lot worse for her.
She will begin serving the sentence January 5. She'll complete her sentence and then Joe will begin his.
Teresa made a plea to the judge to give her house arrest instead of time behind bars so she could care for her kids. Her husband Joe will spend 41 months behind bars, and she says their 4 kids will have to be split up among their relatives if they both serve.
But the judge said the sentences would be staggered, so when one is in prison, the other can perform parental duties.
Before sentencing ... Teresa begged the judge for leniency, saying she is in a deep depression and her life is now ruined. She says all she cares about is her kids and she has no interest anymore in TV shows.
She also said she didn't care about handbags ... a reference to the fact that she was photographed last month with a really expensive bag when she was monkeying around with bankruptcy.
The judge wasn't buying it, saying ... "I need to send a message. In the eyes of the law it doesn't matter who you are. There are consequences to pay."
Both Teresa and Joe were convicted of wire and bankruptcy fraud. According to the sentencing guidelines, Teresa should have received a sentences of 21 - 27 months. Prosecutors recommended 21 -- saying if the judge wasn't hard it would show being famous counts. Nonetheless the judge went way more lenient.
Teresa & Joe Giudice
41 Month Sentence for Him...
She's Still Waiting
10/2/2014 7:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
1:55 PM PT -- Teresa's sentence was just announced.
1:15 PM PT -- The prosecutor has requested a 21-month sentence for Teresa. The judge has taken a short recess and they will be back shortly.Joe Giudice has been sentenced to 41 months in a federal prison for wire and bankruptcy fraud -- but Teresa Giudice is still waiting to hear what her fate will be.
Joe must also pay $414,588.90 in restitution and enter an alcohol treatment program in prison.
Before handing down the sentence ... the judge chewed out Joe and Teresa for being dishonest with their finances -- pointing out the government had to dig up details they should have disclosed up front.
Both Joe and Teresa dissolved into tears as the judge tore into them.
The judge said ... if she sentences Teresa to prison, she will stagger the sentence so at least one parent will be free to care for their 4 daughters.
As we told you ... Teresa's game plan was to beg the judge for leniency -- she could get more than 20 months in prison.
Story developing ...