Teresa Giudice Hires Ponzi Schemer and Ex-Con Wendy Feldman Purner as Her Crisis Manager and Legal Coach (Updated 1/3/2015)
In the Fall of 2013, Wendy Feldman Purner became Teresa Giudice’s pro bono “crisis manager.” Wendy is trying to become famous by associating herself with high-profile clients (i.e. she is another famewhore).
On March 6, 2014, In Touch reported that Teresa Giudice’s crisis manager Wendy Feldman went on the record last year and slammed Teresa — calling her a narcissist and a terrible client — just months before Teresa signed her as a legal coach:
In the August 2013 interview, she also said the reality star “needs to go into treatment” because there is “something wrong with her thinking.”
At the time, Wendy was talking to The Amy Beth Arkawy Show about how she would handle her as a client, saying she would tell Teresa and husband Joe to “stop all the media.”
Of course, that didn’t exactly happen. In November, the Real Housewife hired “The Fixer” to help her prepare for her trial.
During the initial radio interview, the legal coach revealed she would have Teresa “evaluated” if she had the opportunity to work with the reality star — even though that has yet to happen, that we know of.
“The number one thing I would do if I was on her team is get a psychological evaluation because there is something with her and she needs to go into some sort of treatment,” Wendy explained.
“I am not saying substance abuse treatment because that is not her issue. But there is something wrong with her thinking and until you correct her thinking you cannot really work with it.”
Wendy told the radio hosts she knew Teresa “from a long time ago,” adding that she is friends with other women from the Housewives franchise, so it wasn’t as if she was judging the mother-of-four based on her table-flipping television antics.
Still, even with a personal relationship, she wasn’t hesitant to slam Tre.
“There is an interesting dynamic with people who do those shows,” she said. “There is a narcissistic component that, unless you get a hold of it, will destroy you.”
The bottom line — the self-proclaimed “leading alternative sentencing specialist” had absolutely no interest in working with the Giudices, who pled guilty to multiple counts of fraud earlier this week.
“You have two people here that would be terrible clients because they would never listen,” Wendy said. “And they are in a load of trouble.”
In November 2013, Wendy Feldman confirmed to US Weekly (and other tabloids) that she is working with the Teresa Giudice, labeling herself as Teresa’s “legal coach and crisis manager”:
“I’m her legal coach and crisis manager. I have not been hired to prepare either Teresa or Joe Guidice for prison. In fact, most of my work is well-known as crisis management oriented. In addition, I am known as director of alternative sentencing at Cliffside Malibu where [Lindsay] Lohan recently was. However, I am acting as the legal coach and crisis manager only for Teresa Giudice.”
Previously Wendy was described as a prison consultant, counseling inmates released from prison and helping them go back into society [source]:
“Prison and criminal justice consultant and coach Wendy Feldman talks about working with people to prepare for incarceration, serve their sentences and re-enter society. She tells of her own experience serving time in a federal prison camp and halfway house, and how it shaped her belief that prison should be a transformational experience. Her program, Custodial Coaching, collaborates with Las Encinas Hospital, The Ranch, Elements Treatment Centers, Promises and others.” [Source]
The following are Wendy’s self-promoting tweets.
Wendy pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced in 2006 to 27-months in federal prison for fleecing clients and bilking $4 million from investors, which included friends and family (she served approximately 22 months in custody and almost three months in a halfway house/home incarceration, although she claims she served 16 months):
“During the period from July 1998 through late 2001, Wendy breached the trust of her brokerage customers and investment advisory clients and engaged in fraud when she misappropriated approximately $4,145,000 from her customers at Broker and her clients while associated with San Diego Asset Management, Inc.” [Source]
Wendy recently was described by E! as a criminal justice expert even though she has no background in law – her experience with the legal system comes from being charged for securities fraud and serving time in a federal prison for the crime.
The following are other ways she’s been described in the media:
- Legal expert and founder of Custodial Coaching Wendy Feldman
- Alternative sentencing specialist Wendy Feldman
- Prison and criminal justice consultant and coach Wendy Feldman
Wendy unabashedly takes credit for Teresa Giudice’s November 20, 2013 court appearance, from her hair to her trench coat, saying “that’s crisis management full service” and tweeting that she tries to “humanize people” with the “right humility.”
In an E! Online report, Wendy said she is good friends with Jill Zarin and explained that Jill was the one to introduce her to Teresa. Also in the report, Wendy asserted that she is acting as Teresa’s publicist and crisis manager and that she will be helping her with her brand and the show when ‘Real Housewives’ season 6 begins taping.
In November 2006, the San Diego Union-Tribune published a story on how Wendy ran an investment Ponzi scheme, stealing more than $4 million from investors (including her parents) which she covered up with bogus account statements. Wendy befriended wealthy clients and persuaded them to trust her before misappropriating their money – she used the money she scammed to pay off other investors to whom she had lied about how much their investments were earning. Wendy drained the assets of her friends and family to fund a lavish lifestyle. The judge in her case ordered Wendy to pay nearly $4.2 million in restitution, but noted she was unlikely to do so. At that time, in 2006, her lawyer said she had no assets and no job, so the judge ordered her to pay $25 every three months while in prison and $500 a month after she got out.
The following are articles about Wendy or featuring her.
Wendy served approximately 22 months in federal prison, not the 16 she claims. Her surrender date was January 26, 2007, and her release date was November 14, 2008, which is 22 months. With credit for good behavior, her sentence would have been 3 1/2 months less than 27 months, or almost 24 months. The last 82 days or so days of her 24 months would have been spent in a halfway house or home incarceration.
San Diego Union-Tribune
November 30, 2006
Woman sentenced for fleecing clients; $4 million was bilked from investors, friends
A former Rancho Santa Fe financial adviser was sentenced yesterday to two years, three months in prison for stealing from investors more than $4 million that she covered up with bogus account statements.
Wendy Feldman, 40, was ordered to turn herself in to a federal prison by Jan. 26. She has been free without bail since pleading guilty in San Diego federal court two years ago to three counts of wire fraud.
Feldman, also known as Wendy Purner, befriended wealthy clients and persuaded them to trust her before misappropriating their money.
She wept while apologizing in court to her former clients, her former employers and her parents, from whom she also stole.
She said she betrayed a trust by stealing from “my close friends.”
In a letter to Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz, she said she stole the money while in an abusive marriage and addicted to prescription drugs. She said she used the money to pay off other investors to whom she had lied about how much their investments were earning.
“What started out as a way to save face cost me and my family almost everything,” Feldman said in the letter.
But a lawyer for a plastic surgeon whose family lost the bulk of their life savings said Feldman splurged while her clients suffered.
“She bought cars with cash,” Anthony Dain said. “She rented private jets for jaunts to Vegas and stayed in luxury suites.” Dain said Feldman also spent more than $120,000 on a pool and spa for her Rancho Santa Fe home.
Kelley Kupfer, the doctor’s wife, said Feldman visited her in the hospital after complications from back surgery landed her in an intensive care unit. About the same time, Kupfer said, Feldman was draining her family’s investment accounts.
Kupfer’s husband was planning to enter semi-retirement before the money was stolen. Instead, he was forced to work seven days a week to make up the losses, his wife said.
The Kupfers settled a lawsuit against A.G. Edwards & Sons, Feldman’s former employer, for more than $2 million, but legal fees have left them with about one-third of the $3.5 million she stole from them and the life savings of Dr. Kupfer’s mother.
“She took all that a widow had,” Moskowitz said. “It’s terrible.”
Feldman’s lawyer said she has no assets and no job.
The judge ordered Feldman to pay nearly $4.2 million in restitution, but noted she is unlikely to be able to do so. He ordered her to pay $25 every three months while in prison and $500 a month once she gets out.
U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19748 / June 29, 2006
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Wendy Feldman Purner
Civil Action No. 06-CV-01148 (D.D.C. filed June 23, 2006)
Court Enters Final Judgment Against Wendy Purner
SEC Bars Purner from the Securities Industry
On June 27, 2006, the Honorable Paul L. Friedman of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered a final judgment against Wendy Feldman Purner, a former registered representative, based upon charges of fraud relating to her alleged misappropriation of $4,145,000 from her brokerage customers and investment adviser clients. Purner consented, without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, to the entry of the final judgment imposing a permanent injunction and ordering disgorgement of $4,145,000.
The Commission filed a complaint on June 23, 2006, alleging that during the period from July 1998 through late 2001, Purner breached the trust of her brokerage customers and investment advisory clients and engaged in fraud when she misappropriated $4,145,000 from their accounts. While associated with a registered broker-dealer and investment adviser and later at her own investment advisory firm, Purner received money from her customers and clients to invest and manage.
The Commission alleged in its complaint that Purner told her customers and clients that she would invest their money in various investment vehicles, including commercial paper, investment partnerships, and common stock. The complaint alleged that Purner did not, however, invest her customers’ and clients’ money but rather misappropriated it or used it to conceal her withdrawals from the accounts of other customers and clients.
According to the complaint, Purner concealed her fraud at the registered broker-dealer and investment adviser by creating and mailing, to her customers, false account statements that described non-existent investments and contained inflated account balances. The complaint further alleged that while at her own investment advisory firm, Purner hid her fraud from her clients by making materially false oral representations to her clients regarding the nature and value of their investments.
In September 2004, Purner pled guilty to three counts of wire fraud in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California for the same conduct alleged in the complaint and agreed to pay restitution totaling $4,145,000 to her defrauded customers and clients. Purner is scheduled to be sentenced on November 27, 2006, and faces a period of incarceration of up to fifteen years.
Without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission’s complaint, Purner consented to the entry of the final judgment which permanently enjoins her from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. In addition to the injunctive relief, Purner agreed to pay $4,145,000 in disgorgement which will be deemed satisfied by the anticipated order of restitution in the criminal proceeding. In the event that no order of restitution is entered in the criminal proceeding, the final judgment requires Purner to pay the entire amount of disgorgement of $4,145,000 to the Commission following the final disposition of the criminal proceeding.
On June 29, 2006, based on the entry of the Court’s injunction, the Commission also instituted settled administrative proceedings against Purner. Without admitting or denying the Commission’s findings, Purner consented to the entry of the Commission’s Order, which bars her from associating with any broker, dealer, or investment adviser.
In the Matter of Wendy Feldman Purner, Administrative Proceeding File No.3-12348; Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Release No.54068 (June 29, 2006); Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Release No. 2527 (June 29, 2006).
The Commission acknowledges the assistance in its investigation of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
July 16, 2011
Wendy Feldman, who served 16 months in a federal prison camp for securities fraud and is now a prison consultant, told “Early Show on Saturday Morning” co-anchor Russ Mitchell every inmate in the United States is processed in a similar fashion when being released.
“She will change her clothes, ‘dress out’ as they call it, and get into civilian clothes,” said Feldman, who’s the founder of Custodial Coaching, where she counsels people who are going to prison and those being freed. “She’ll go through a standard checkout form, be given any medications that she’s taking, and then be ready to go.”
Usually, Feldman says, it’s not the responsibility of authorities to take inmates to their next destinations, “but in this case, because it’s so unusual … they will escort here until she’s at her destination, whether that’s a plane or a home or where have you, and that will be it.”
Feldman says it’s “likely that they’re going to take her out a back exit, back garage door, in an unmarked car, with her lawyers or whoever’s picking her up. That’s pretty typical in high-profile cases.”
Will Anthony get any money?
“Typically, in Florida,” Feldman replied, “they give you $100 ‘gate money.’ As you hit the gate, they give you the money. But, in this case, she won’t be eligible for that money, because she’s not ‘needy.’ She had money on her books. So she won’t get that $100.”
Does a prison system offer any type of support for newly-released inmates?
“No,” Feldman responded. ” … If you’re ordered to, like, a half-way house, then they would. But there are all kinds of faith-based organizations, re-entry organizations that come visit inmates in jail, and they have visited Casey Anthony. She even said they visited her on the jailhouse visiting tapes from 2008. So, she will have programs presented, but they’re optional.”
The prison system has no obligation at all in this regard, Mitchell surmised, and Feldman agreed, saying, “Not unless it’s ordered. She doesn’t have probation, so it’s not ordered.”
Feldman offered a surprising take on authorities saying they won’t provide any special security for Anthony short of credible threats against her, saying, “Law enforcement has an obligation protect everybody who is outside of custody equally, so if there is a credible threat, they’ll protect her. But they can’t act as her 24-hour-a-day bodyguards. They’re going to most likely escort her where she needs to go. But just like in the O.J. (Simpson) case, if she goes to a certain location, law enforcement might be there to protect the other neighbors, and not Casey Anthony.”
What would Feldman advise Anthony about surviving after prison?
“I would tell her to get help, get all kinds of help, go through an aftercare program, get mental health experts, get a whole team together because, not only is this high-profile, but she’s been incarcerated for almost three years. So she has a large re-entry task, and that’s compounded by the fact she is not liked by most people in America. So, I would tell her (to) get a team of experts and get some professional help.”
The Giudices may, or may not, show remorse on ‘RHONJ’ (Excerpt)
NorthJersey.com, The Bergen Record
July 6, 2014
Wendy Feldman, a “legal-crisis manager” whom Teresa hired last fall to be part of her defense team, is confident that the Giudices will come off in a good light on the show this season.
“Keep this in mind. I was working with Teresa prior to the start of shooting this season. It was always on my mind that it’s usually likely that there’s a continuance in a case like this,” says Feldman, adding that, given the “summer scheduling,” along with the fact that it’s a “complicated case” involving two high-profile defendants and that there’s a backlog of cases in Newark, made a continuance even more likely.
“And so, we started shooting with that in the back of my mind, that it would likely be the government who even asked for the continuance, which is what happened. And so, the show was carefully constructed to … I’m not saying that it’s not an authentic portrayal. It is. But Bravo was very cooperative and respectful in shooting certain things and in not shooting certain things, although you get a very interesting inside look at what a family goes through who’s under this type of scrutiny and stress and distress.”
On June 20, Klingeman told The Record that he and Joe Giudice’s attorney, Miles Feinstein, had requested the postponement, which was made “to allow the parties to be completely prepared.” But Feldman insists that “Newark is one of the busiest offices in the United States and it is the government who asked for the delay and the continuance.”
Feldman, who served 16 months in federal prison, beginning in 2006, after pleading guilty to three counts of wire fraud which occurred in the ’90s, said her work as a legal-crisis manager covers everything from being a liaison between the lawyers and the clients, to “helping the children understand or navigate what’s going on,” to dealing with the media on Teresa’s behalf (unlike many of her clients, the Giudices do not have a personal publicist), to being a trusted confidante for Teresa (“All of my clients, people sell stories about them, every day”) to “working with Bravo on how the season’s gonna go.”
“Reality is unscripted, but it is set up. You get a schedule and you know who you’re working with that day and what you’re gonna talk about,” Feldman says. “When we sat down to film this season, certain things were carefully constructed so that Teresa wouldn’t be put into a situation that, maybe in the past she would be OK with. And I think that viewers will also get a chance to look at Joe from the standpoint and the viewpoint that people know him see and he is not at all the character he is on the show. These are characters. These are not real people that you see. And this season, I think they are much more the real people.”
That logic may sound faulty — careful construction of greater authenticity — but the season opener truly does feel more real than “RHONJ” has felt in ages. Teresa tells sister-in-law Melissa Gorga that she’s “in a very dark place and it’s so scary,” and she tells pal Dina Manzo, who’s making her return to the regular cast this season, that her sleep is haunted by her legal problems, which have clearly taken an emotional (as well as financial) toll. Throughout the episode, Teresa looks puffy-faced, as if she’s spent a great deal of time crying lately. Her oldest daughter, Gia, also appears to be on the verge of tears — at two different points in the episode.
“I obviously know what’s going on. I’m old enough to comprehend and understand what’s going on,” Gia tells her mother early in the episode.
Wendy Feldman is unique. She is a Legal Coach and Crisis Manager, and the leading expert on Alternative Sentencing today. The ultimate crisis manager, Wendy is well established with various media outlets and also has a solid reputation in courts all over the country. As a coach she works with people to prepare for court, investigations, incarceration, alternative sentences and most importantly, re-entry into society. She works the entire family to assemble the proper team for the best long term results. Others have turned their criminal justice experiences into major platforms for change and awareness, but none have been able to present all sides of the story from personal experience.
Wendy Feldman, founder of Custodial Coaching, is an expert on criminal justice issues ranging from preparing for prison and re entry, as well as alternatives to prison such as community service and residential treatment programs. Having been there and done that, Wendy knows what anybody facing prison time can expect and separates fact from fiction. NBC calls her the Legal Fixer and she has worked with over 1000 clients from custody cases to violent crime charges.
Ms. Feldman strives to build awareness to the problems in our criminal justice system and offers insight and solutions to these issues. She is recognized as the leading insider on alternative sentences and re-entry. She is well known for her opinions about the crisis in our prisons and the danger of the mental health crisis in the United States.
She knows first hand the journey that awaits a person whose choices have landed them in our criminal justice system. Wendy coined the term Incarcervention™. She prepares her clients for it all, while pushing them to get real, be honest and lead happier and productive lives. Wendy believes that prison should be a TRANSFORMATIONAL experience and the ultimate equalizer. Neither pro offender nor pro law enforcement, she believes in Equal Justice and understands all sides.
November 21, 2013
Teresa Giudice has been going through some rough times, but luckily she has someone to help her through it.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star, along with her husband Joe, was hit with two new fraud charges earlier this week, but is working to keep a positive outlook on her situation thanks to crisis manager Wendy Feldman of Custodial Coaching.
Feldman talks to E! News about working with the 41-year-old celeb and how she sympathizes with the mother of four.
“Teresa and I met through [Real Housewives of New York star] Jill Zarin,” Feldman tells us. “Jill is one of my closest friends. We don’t have a working relationship, but she was the one who connected Teresa and myself.”
She explained: “What I do with Teresa and Joe is what I do with a lot of celebrities in crisis management. People going through this needs a shoulder to lean on who understands the process. I act as her publicist, as her crisis manager and I’m helping her with her brand. I’ll also be helping her with the show when it starts up again in a few weeks.”
Feldman adds that one of her main goals is to help people “focus on the positive, because there’s so much negative,” and when it comes to Giudice, “we’re taking it day by day. This is going to be a very long, tough process.”
It also doesn’t help that Teresa and her family are going through this while in the public eye. Feldman said she feels for her client, telling E! News: “What I want people to realize is that this is a woman with four children who has to play out a sad, unfortunate situation in public. This is a wife, this is a mother, this is a daughter, this is a friend.”
The Bravo star has been receiving some support from her fans on Twitter, and let her followers know that their well wishes are appreciated. “I just want to thank everyone for your kind words, thoughts and prayers,” Teresa tweeted.
The husband and wife duo pleaded not guilty to the two new charges—loan application fraud and bank fraud—during their arraignment at a federal court in Newark, New Jersey, yesterday.
“She looks forward to defending herself at the trial, scheduled for Feb. 24, 2014,” Teresa’s lawyer, Henry Klingeman, said in a statement on Monday. “Beyond that, we will answer all of the charges in court, not out.”