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Joe Giudice talks fraud charges and jail sentencing: I'm not saying I did anything wrong or illegal, but I'm to blame

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/07/2015 

Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice were sentenced to jail time in October 2014 after pleading guilty to 41 counts of financial fraud, and now Joe is opening up about what transpired and how it feels to be at home with their four girls while his wife has been behind bars for almost a year now.

After reaching a plea deal, Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in jail, while Joe got 41 months and will begin his own sentence after Teresa does her time. The arrangement was made so that one parent can always be with their children, who are all under the age of 15.

Joe, 43, recently talked to reporter Tamron Hall in an on-camera interview for the Today show. The interview took place in Joe and Teresa's lavish home in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

By the time Joe gets out of jail, his daughters will be grown. He told Hall he doesn't think about it because "if you do, you're just going to drive yourself crazy and there's no point... Of course it wasn't worth it. Why it happened, I don't know."

"I'm not saying I did anything wrong or illegal," Joe explained, "but there were definitely people talking to [legal authorities] behind [the scenes]... telling them we did this or we did that and bringing it to attention. And being in the public eye didn't help."

The incidents Joe and Teresa were convicted of occurred prior to their stint on Bravo's reality TV show. They've starred on The Real Housewives of New Jersey since it debuted in 2009 and apparently never thought living such an opulent lifestyle so openly would cost them down the road.

"I didn't anticipate going on this show. I didn't want to go on the show, for one. They were bothering us for over a year. We just thought that we were going to do it and it was going to be no big deal, you know what I mean? We didn't know it was going to turn into this [phenomenon]. So we ended up here," Joe told Hall.

Joe then reiterated how he did not think any of his wrongdoing was illegal.

"I was just signing my name. I would never fill out anything. I wasn't an accountant, I wasn't a mortgage person, I wasn't a banker," Joe said, while confessing though he's completely at fault for Teresa's fall. "I was to blame, sure. I took full responsibility for everything, but they still put her away."

Joe admitted he "absolutely" feels guilty for the consequences Teresa, 43, had to face considering she wasn't knowledgeable of having engaged in any fraudulent activity. She's currently being held at Danbury Correctional Facility in Connecticut and is expected to return home around Christmas.

"I mean, I was supposed to go away, not her," Joe continued.

"And that was part of the plea. What I thought, anyway. I don't know what happened in the courtroom that day, but... I felt like somebody just snapped my neck from what happened that day. I felt the pain -- a chill going down my spine. I couldn't believe it."

Also during his interview, Joe shot down all reports he's been going on dates -- including one with an alleged strip club employee -- while his wife is in jail. Back in May, for instance, Joe was photographed having dinner with a younger woman.

"What's the truth? No, I don't date anybody. I don't go on dates and none of that is true," Joe insisted to Hall. "That person just happened to be out one night with a friend of mine that knew her and they came and sat at the table. Somehow pictures were taken and that's how that came about."

"Listen, anybody does anything for money," he noted. "So, if they feel they can make a couple bucks [selling a story], they're going to make it. They're going to say whatever they want to say."

Joe will face the possibility of deportation once he finishes his sentence in jail. When asked about his feelings on the topic, Joe awkwardly sat in silence for what felt like a full minute. After scratching his chin, rubbing his eyes and offering up a couple strange smirks, Joe refused to answer the question.

Teresa and Joe's sixteenth wedding anniversary will be on October 23.

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