The photo above recently circulated on the internet as Teresa Giudice’s mugshot from Danbury prison. However, it has not been confirmed that it is authentic and could be photoshopped. Federal inmates’ mugshots are considered the property of the federal government and, therefore, are not made available in the public domain, so this photo is either a hoax or it was leaked by someone within the Bureau of Prisons and later scrubbed from the internet.
In the “mugshot,” Teresa isn’t wearing her usual false eyelashes and heavy makeup, and her hair is a little shorter than normal. She has been wearing her hair long for the past few years, probably with the help of extensions.
She was photographed at the 3KT concert at iPlay America in Freehold, New Jersey, on December 26, 2014 (image below), with her long hair, so she was still wearing the extensions a week before her prison surrender date.
Also in the “mugshot,” Teresa appears to be wearing a necklace, which could be the “necklace with two medals” that her attorney, James L. Leonard, Jr., says he gave to her just before surrendering to prison:
Leonard told PEOPLE magazine that he presented Teresa with a set of rosary beads and a necklace with two medals – one for St. Christopher and one for St. Teresa. “They let her keep all of that,” he says. “She was very happy with that, and she told me she would keep them with her all the time.”
The photos below, published by TMZ, were taken of Teresa at a diner about a mile away from Danbury prison, where she ate before surrendering at 3 AM on January 5, 2015. She reportedly was wearing a black sweat suit. Her hair is these photos matches her hair in the alleged mugshot.
Teresa Could Be Released from Prison to a Halfway House or Home Confinement by December 21, 2015; Teresa Sues Bankruptcy Attorney and Hires Leonard Law Group; Cash-strapped Giudices Reduce Mansion Asking Price to $2.99 Million
While federal statute calls for an inmate to serve 85% of the sentence imposed, under BOP calculations the inmate will serve approximately 87.5% of their time. Under the Second Chance Act, an inmates may serve the last 10 percent of their sentence (up to six months) at a halfway house or on home incarceration. If Teresa earns her maximum of 60 days credit for “good conduct time,” she would serve 11 1/2 months in Danbury prison and then she would be released around December 21, 2015 to a halfway house or under house arrest to serve out the last 45 days of the 13 months to complete her sentence (15 months minus 60 days equals 13 months). Parole applies only if the sentence is for five years or longer.
Teresa Giudice reported to federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut in the early morning hours of January 5, 2015, to begin her 15-month sentence for mortgage fraud and bankruptcy fraud.
When asked by Good Morning America about any possibility of early release, Teresa’s attorney, James L. Leonard Jr., said that would be “up to the judge and the Bureau of Prisons.” However, Leonard told the New York Post and ET that Teresa could be home by next Christmas:
“We project Teresa will be home sometime before Christmas.”
“Your expectations are you will serve 85% of your sentence and that then you will be able to get out… on house arrest at some point prior to the 85%,” Leonard revealed. “Right now, barring any change in her sentence, she is probably there until December.”
For Teresa, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) calculated her release date with “good conduct time” credit as February 5, 2016.
At the beginning of a prisoner’s sentence, the full amount of “good conduct time” is credited (awarded up front) and reflected in the projected release date. “Good conduct time” is subject to forfeiture if the prisoner commits disciplinary infractions.
Good conduct time is credited at 54 days per year, prorated, pursuant to PS 5884.03. In reality, the BOP gives an inmate 47 days per year after the first year’s credit. So while the statute calls for an inmate to serve 85% of the sentence imposed, the BOP credits the amount of time actually served. So the BOP makes the inmate serve approximately 87.5% of their time. In other words, inmates who earn their “good conduct time” end up serving 87.5% percent of their sentences.
In Teresa’s case, approximately 60 days of “good conduct time” can be earned (approximately 4 days per month x 15 months), so the calculation by the BOP for her projected release is two months less than her 15-month sentence.
In addition to “good conduct time” credit, the BOP may award “extra good time” credit for performing exceptionally meritorious service, duties of outstanding importance, or for employment in an industry or camp.
“Extra good time” is awarded at a rate of three days per month during the first 12 months, and at the rate of five days per month thereafter. Furthermore, any staff member may recommend to the Warden the approval of an inmate for a “lump sum award” of “extra good time.” Such recommendations must be for an exceptional act or service that is not a part of a regularly assigned duty. The Warden may make “lump sum awards” of “extra good time” of not more than 30 days.
Under the Second Chance Act, inmates may serve the last 10 percent of their sentence (up to six months) at a halfway house or home incarceration (inmates can serve half of this period at the halfway house and half of this period on home incarceration). Ten percent of Teresa’s 15-month sentence is approximately 45 days, or about a month and a half.
The BOP calculated release date is the date the inmate is released from BOP custody, which includes prison time and halfway house/home confinement under the Second Chance Act.
Parole applies only if the sentence is for five years or longer: 18 USC4206(d) requires the Parole Commission to release an offender after he has served two-thirds of the sentence, unless the Commission determines he has seriously violated BOP prison rules or regulations or there is a reasonable probability he will commit a crime.
If Teresa earns her maximum of 60 days credit for “good conduct time,” she would serve 11 1/2 months in Danbury prison and then she would be released around December 21, 2015 to a halfway house or under house arrest to serve out the last 45 days of the 13 months to complete her sentence (15 months minus 60 days equals 13 months). She would then be on supervised release for two years.
For example, Bernie Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner and Al Manzo’s best friend, spent the last five months of his four-year federal sentence on home confinement (he pleaded guilty in 2009 to eight charges, including criminal conspiracy, tax fraud and lying under oath).
Leonard, who has “been involved with Teresa now for more than a month,” is a criminal defense attorney turned entertainment lawyer (Leonard Law Group, LLC) who is making the rounds with various media outlets, putting a positive spin on things.
Leonard told the New York Post that Teresa is a very strong women and her only concern going to prison was that of her four children:
“Teresa’s only concern going into the prison was that of her four children. She never once discussed how this was going to affect her, only how it was going to affect them. Teresa is very strong and I believe she will emerge from this entire experience stronger.”
It is plausible that Leonard is working with the Giudices to sell stories and photos of the family to tabloids/webloids (see comments), including two photos of Teresa at the diner before she surrendered herself to Danbury prison (click here for the photos at TMZ). Leonard also has provided legal services to the Wakiles and the Gorgas. In addition to being an attorney, Leonard is owner of Boardwalk Journal Magazine.
In 2010, Leonard was retained by Joe and Melissa Gorga to handle their original contract negotiations with BravoTV for The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Rich and Kathy Wakile also retained Leonard. Leonard appeared in three episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (twice in season 3 and once in season 4). In 2011, Leonard, on behalf of the Gorgas, threatened to sue any media outlet that called Melissa a stripper.
On Teresa’s surrender date, it was Leonard and one of his associates who drove her to Danbury federal prison. Teresa hid in the back seat of the SUV. According to Leonard:
“Our plan was that we were going to leave her house at midnight to start our journey to Danbury. I got to her house at 10:30 p.m. and it was somber. The kids had already been put to bed. She was cleaning up the kitchen two minutes before we left for Connecticut. She was still running around, making sure the house was normal. It was all about her children and her family. That’s been her singular focus. The main reason we left at the time we did, is she didn’t want her kids waking up for school and have a million people in front of their home waiting for Teresa to come out.
“She wore a black sweat suit and obviously she [will have] a uniform when she gets there. She looked beautiful. She looked as if she could’ve begun filming another episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her hair and makeup were intact, and she looked great.”
Leonard told Us Weekly that the car ride to Danbury took about 90 minutes, and the group arrived at around 1:45 AM, ahead of Teresa’s 3 AM reporting time, first stopping at Elmer’s Diner in Danbury, about a mile away from the prison, before surrendering (click here for photos that TMZ posted of Teresa at the diner).
Leonard told PEOPLE magazine that Teresa was supposed to surrender by 10 AM but she prearranged with prison officials to turn herself in early and use an alternate route to avoid a media circus:
Teresa was supposed to appear at the prison by 10 a.m. on Monday. But, says Leonard, on New Year’s Eve, Teresa asked him if she could turn herself in before that. Officials agreed to let her surrender at 3 a.m. and let her use an alternate route in order to avoid the likely media attention outside the prison main entrance, he says.
“The reason she wanted to go early was because she didn’t want to have her children wake up on Monday morning and see a big [media] circus outside of the house,” he says.
Because they had time to spare before her arrival, she stopped off at a local diner just before 2 a.m. “She had a breakfast sandwich and some coffee,” Leonard says. “She was joking that she shouldn’t be eating at this hour. I said, ‘You could make an exception.’ So she ate.”
When she arrived at the facility, Tersa spent between 10 and 15 minutes in the pre-processing area, where officials introduced themselves to her.
“They talked about starting her commissary account. They told her she would be able to make her first phone call within 24 hours once they had her account set up. They said they were going to make it possible for her to meet with her immediate family this weekend. So she was very happy with that. There weren’t going to be any delays with that stuff,” says Leonard.
“Everybody was extremely respectful and courteous. It was very easy to ease her way into this because everything was positive. There was a lot of positive energy there.”
Leonard presented her with a set of rosary beads and a necklace with two medals – one for St. Christopher and one for St. Teresa.
“They let her keep all of that,” he says. “She was very happy with that, and she told me she would keep them with her all the time.”
When it was time to say goodbye, he says he hugged her and told her, “You’re going to be fine.”
“She said, ‘Yeah. I’ll be fine,’ ” he says. “She was very stoic and very strong. I left them there. They didn’t handcuff her. She was just standing there.”
Leonard had no sooner left the building when he returned to use the restroom.
“As I was walking back, they were walking her out of the first building to another building,” he says. “She saw me and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m breaking you out of here.’ She laughed and said, ‘I wish.’ ”
He continued: “The last thing she said to me was, ‘I’ll be fine. Tell Joe and the girls I’m good.’ ”
He isn’t sure if the children will come visit her this weekend. “But they will 100 percent come see her,” he says. “I think she wants to see them whenever she can.”
Leonard told ABC News that “Teresa was anxious to get in, get this thing started, get it behind her, and get back to her family:”
Leonard said Teresa prepared for her time behind bars by corresponding with recently released female prisoners from Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury. She was told to be “friendly but guarded” at the prison, and to savor moments with her family, Leonard said.
“They told her to keep her head up, that she would make it through,” Leonard said.
Leonard told E! News that Teresa “was very upbeat and positive,” as well as “talkative and lively:”
“There was some nervous energy there, but not because she was scared. She was just anxious about getting started,” said Leonard.
And contrary to previous reports, the mother of four “did not have a wedding band with her.”
Also, despite the rumor mill going into overdrive about such silly things like hair extensions, Leonard shares that “she looked exactly the same as she always does. Her hair was the same length, no difference.”
He added: “When we got there, I asked the prison officials two questions. First, when can she make her first call? Because she brought the money for her account with her, they said she would be able to make a call within 24 hours. Second, when can she have her first visit? We were told her first opportunity would be this weekend. I told this to her husband and he was very, very excited.”
Leonard told the The Bergen Record that he expected Teresa’s family to visit her as soon as this coming weekend:
“I spoke to the officials about it. They’re going to make arrangements so that this weekend she can visit with her immediate family, so I’m assuming that means her husband and the girls,” Leonard said. “And I plan to continue to visit with her and communicate with her and phone her.”
When asked, “What is the future of RHONJ and Giudice’s association with the show?,” Leonard could shed no light. “I’ve been involved with her now for more than a month, I guess, and we’ve talked about literally everything under the sun – with the exception of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. There’s so many more pressing things to deal with that that has not come up. And I don’t think it’s a focus of hers at this time.”
As for rumors that Teresa plans to use her time in prison to write a book about her life there, Leonard said: “At the moment, her focus is getting in there, getting acclimated to her surroundings, making sure that everybody’s good at home. And then, who knows what the future brings?”
The Bergen Record also reported that, “while paparazzi camped outside the Giudices’ home in the Towaco section of Montville on Sunday night, angling for a shot of her leaving for lockup (see video below), only a handful of media members, all Record staffers, were waiting for her at the prison’s stone gates in Connecticut just after 3 AM:”
Teresa’s attorney James J. Leonard Jr. drove up the prison’s driveway in a black GMC Denali. Seated in the SUV’s back seat, behind tinted windows that shielded her from outside view, Teresa was reportedly dressed in a simple black sweat suit. And she was not being followed by reality-TV cameras. Her vehicle was trailed by a Danbury police car.
The 42-year-old reality star will serve her time at the minimum-security satellite camp for women on the property, which also houses a low-security prison used by men.
Waiting for her, inside, was a sort of inmate Welcome Wagon, according to Beatrice Codianni, who spent 6½ years at the FCI Danbury minimum-security camp. It’s not uncommon for inmates to hear through the grapevine that a new person is about to arrive, she said.
“I had it from a very reliable source that some older women were there to greet her, to make her feel welcome, to show her the ropes and put her at ease,” said Codianni, who’s now managing editor of the national prison news and information website, Reentry Central.
So what did Teresa take with her to the federal prison? Leonard told E! News:
“She came with $200 to put into her commissary account. She also had her legal documents with her which also contained a list of addresses for her to write friends and family.”
TMZ reported that “Teresa can spend $320 per week at the prison commissary, and that her family can put as much money in her account as they want.” (Click here for the Danbury prison commissary list.)
Leonard told Good Morning America (click here for video) and ET (click here for video) that Teresa’s husband Joe “was somber,” Teresa was mentally and emotionally prepared, and other inmates advised Teresa to “keep her head up:”
“The enormity of this entire situation hit him… He was very low key and, you know, it was tough. It wasn’t easy for him.”
“Mentally and emotionally Teresa was prepared,” he said.
Once she arrived, the other inmates “were giving her the lay of the land,” said Leonard. They advised her to “keep her head up.”
Joe Giudice Drives Daughters to School on Teresa’s First Day in Prison (Video)
Joe’s driver’s license is not suspended at this time (in January 2010, Joe was charged with driving under the influence: he later was convicted and his license was suspended for seven months). However, under Joe’s plea deal with the State of New Jersey for possessing a fraudulent driver’s license, his license will be suspended for a minimum of six months. He will return to Passaic County Superior Court in Paterson, NJ on March 20, 2015 for his formal sentencing, at which time the judge will rule on the length of time his driver’s license will be suspended and the fine he must pay (the maximum is $10,000). For the state charges of identity theft and forgery, Joe received a suspended 18-month state sentence that will run concurrently with his federal sentence, which means there will be no additional jail time.
Us Weekly reported that Teresa spent Sunday, January 4, the day before she surrendered, attending church with her family (image below) and throwing Gia an early 14th birthday party:
“They had a birthday party for Gia,” a source tells Us of the family’s last free day with their mother, who will miss the 3KT singer’s actual birthday on January 8. “They had a cake and a celebration.”
Before wishing the aspiring singer a happy birthday, Teresa, along with her husband Joe and their daughters, attended mass at Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey, the same church where she wed Joe 16 years ago. “She wanted to go there yesterday and be there with the girls,” her lawyer, James J. Leonard Jr. told Us.
Later that night, Teresa said her goodbyes and prepared to report to prison.
On March 4, 2014 Teresa pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three counts of bankruptcy fraud. Both Teresa and her husband, Joe, were charged with hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitting phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans. Joe was also charged with failing to pay taxes totaling more than $200,000.
Reality TV Producer Reveals Shocking Behind-the-Scenes Secrets About the Real Housewives of New Jersey (Exclusive Originally Published at FameWhorgas on September 23, 2012)
The following transcript is an interview with a former producer for The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The interview was conducted on September 17, 2012 and was first published at FameWhorgas in four parts starting on September 23, 2012. The interviewer, who exclusively shared this with FameWhorgas, was writing a piece on the reality of reality television and forwarded parts of the interview pertaining to RHONJ for the purpose of reading fan comments to get a different perspective on the transcript. I will not disclose the names of the interviewer and interviewee; however, I can say that I received this directly from the interviewer: this person, the one who conducted the interview, is the cousin of the former producer. My source saw that people were doubting the legitimacy of the interview when it was first published at FameWhorgas on September 23, 2012, so he/she wrote the following explanation:
“I was asked by my country’s main news website to write a piece on the reality of reality television. My cousin worked on RHONJ, so I asked for an interview. The interview was only given because RHONJ does not screen in my country, and I promised anonymity. We also don’t have any Bravo shows on television here. I called my cousin in Washington and spoke for 20 minutes before realizing I would have to watch the RHONJ to understand what was going on and who was who. So I went online and watched every episode and called back a few weeks later. The second interview (which was recorded) was an hour and a half and mentioned numerous shows from TLC and Oxygen, but I have edited it down to the relevant parts, mainly due to privacy for my cousin.”
Q: “So can you tell me about your role on the RHONJ without giving away who you are”?
A: “It’s fine, my contract has finished. I worked on season 3 and 4 of RHONJ as a post production supervisor for 15 episodes.”
Q: “Can you explain why you no longer work with the RHONJ? Does it have anything to do with the rumors that the production team was fired due to a conflict of interest?”
A: “Not true at all, I can’t speak for everyone, um, there are quiet a few of the same team returning for season 5, but I was offered a role on another show and decided to leave for my career; no one was fired for a conflict of interest though.”
Q: “So how ‘real’ is the show? We discussed before (in a private conversation) about the various blog rumours; can you clear anything up?”
A: “Well, if you give me specifics, I can try.”
Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice’s Feud
Q: “I’m curious about the Caroline/Teresa feud. Was she really that angry that Teresa wrote those comments in her cookbook?”
A: (laughing) “Oh come on, at the start of the season the production team sits down and gives a general overview of where we want the storyline for the show to go. ALL of the wives are in on this. We discuss popular storylines from the season before, storylines that need tying up, and also ways of threading in new storylines that look organic to the story. Do you really think we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on just following these woman around with no plan? No, the season and the storyline has a basic outline from the first day.”
Q: “So you’re saying there is no feud?”
A: “I’m saying the feud you are being fed is for television only and there are bigger issues there.”
Q: “Then why are we not being told what the bigger drama is? Wouldn’t it be better to show that than manufacturing the drama?”
A: “It’s up to the wives what they choose to put out into the public forum; nothing is forced on them.”
Jacqueline Laurita and Teresa Giudice’s Feud
Q: “What about Jacqueline and Teresa?”
A: “We knew at the end of season 3 that their friendship was ending; the main reason, I was told, for the feud was because Jacqueline was offered several endorsement deals (including a teeth whitener and a real fruit-based alchohol), and Teresa organised deals for herself with similar products which turned off the company wanting to invest in Jax and the Housewives’ name.”
Q: “Well, why was this not mentioned throughout the season? Why are we getting this confusing story that makes Jacqueline look crazy? Why not explain this to the viewers?”
A: “Jacqueline’s ‘character’ wouldn’t have endorsement deals; it didn’t feel right for the character. Jacqueline (the character) is a loving home mother who is trying to raise her children; we couldn’t go from doting housewife to celebrity endorsement maker; it wouldn’t feel organic.”
Dina Manzo Quitting the Show in Season 2
Q: “In season 2 you had a change of cast with Dina Manzo leaving; did she really leave because of Danielle?”
A: “There were legal issues around the filming of Dina’s daughter, and Dina and Danielle had off screen legal issues. Dina threatened to quit the show unless Danielle’s contract for season 2 was shortened; she basically told the producers it was her family on the show or Danielle, but the others didn’t back her, so she quit the show.”
Q: “What about Teresa? Did Teresa threaten to walk too?”
A: “No, none of the other wives did; that is why Dina is so angry at her family; I guess she feels like they chose the show over her.”
Q: “Well they did, so why is she speaking to Teresa then and not the others?”
A: “The others were her family.”
The Addition of the Gorgas to the Show and the Christening in Season 3
Q: “So tell me about the casting of the Gorga family? Did they really send in an audition tape saying they would take down Teresa, mafia style?”
A: “They auditioned, as does everyone. Look, it’s not like just because she is Teresa’s sister-in-law we instantly cast her because we had heard of bad blood between them. Teresa’s brother and Melissa were filmed for a short period and that was edited into a small compilation to see if they were interesting enough to be on television. This happens on every single show. Melissa does say that they will take down Teresa in the video, but in a playful manner. I’m also sure it’s been leaked onto the net, so it wouldn’t be hard to find.”
Q: “What can you tell me about the christening episode that introduces the Gorgas?”
A: “Well, I can say I was actually there that day. It was our first full day filming with a large team; we had been filming previous to that, but they were establishing shots. It was much worse than what was shown: the extended family didn’t want anything on camera, so what you don’t see is family members getting violent with the crew and grabbing their cameras and ripping microphone packs off and throwing them across the room. It was chaos.”
Q: “Why did Joe Gorga react the way he did? He was crazy.”
A: “I’ll just say, first day shooting nerves can make some drink and others take….I’ll leave it at that.”
Editing Problems with Season 4
Q: “What is going on with the editing for this season [season 4]?
A: “Can you elaborate?”