Teresa Giudice reportedly searching for new lawyer to help her appeal 15-month jail sentence
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/15/2014
Teresa Giudice is reportedly looking for a new lawyer in the hopes she can appeal her 15-month prison sentence for fraud.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star has been shopping for a new attorney as part of her plan to file legal documents in attempt to overturn her sentence, RadarOnline reported.
"Teresa has been meeting with numerous lawyers since being sentenced to 15 months. She believes that more could have been done to persuade the judge to give her house arrest or probation," a source told RadarOnline.
In fact, Judge Ester Salas actually considered giving Teresa probation in her criminal case with husband Joe Giudice.
However, Salas decided against the leniency due to the couple's "blatant disrespect" in filing sloppy and incomplete financial disclosure forms, which concealed $75,000 worth of property such as jewelry, according to Us Weekly.
"Teresa plans on filing new financial disclosure forms, fully detailing her financial assets," added the RadarOnline source.
But the chances Teresa, 42, can pull this off are seemingly slim to none.
"Several lawyers that have met with Teresa have conveyed to her that under terms of the plea deal she signed, any appeal would automatically be rejected. Teresa was advised that any lawyer telling her the judge would toss out the prison sentence isn't being honest with her," the source explained, adding that the reality TV star's time to render the situation has passed.
"Trying to rewrite history and now come clean is just too late. It's astonishing that Teresa would actually do this."
In addition to Joe pleading guilty for failure to file tax returns on nearly $1 million worth of his income, Teresa and Joe both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as three counts of bankruptcy as part of a March plea deal to resolve their 41-count federal fraud indictment.
In the plea deal, Teresa was warned she could receive up to 27 months in jail, but she accepted it anyway and later confessed in frustration she "didn't fully understand" the terms.
The couple also admitted to claiming false salaries between the years of 2001 and 2008 and submitting phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans in court. They face $13 million in claims after a judge denied a motion to discharge their 2009 bankruptcy filing.
Teresa, who previously competed on The Celebrity Apprentice, begins her sentence on January 5 so she can enjoy the holidays with her family. Joe will serve his 41-month sentence after Teresa completes her own. The judge made it so that their four daughters will have one parent in their lives at a time.
After finishing his sentence, Joe will face deportation because he's not an American citizen.