By Terence McGinley
NEWARK N.J. (Reuters) - Joe Giudice, reality television cast member and husband of one of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," was sentenced on Thursday to 41 months in prison in the couple's federal fraud case.
The couple arrived holding hands at U.S. District Court in Newark. Giudice, 43, faced the judge first and his wife, Teresa Giudice, 42, was set to be sentenced after a midday break.
Giudice also was ordered to pay $414,588 in restitution and was fined $10,000.
The Towaco, New Jersey, couple entered plea deals in March, admitting to bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in what prosecutors described as years of hiding income and lying to obtain loans.
Giuseppe Giudice, an Italian citizen better known as Joe, also pleaded guilty to failure to file tax returns on income totaling nearly $1 million.
He could have been sentenced to up to 46 months in prison. Teresa Giudice faces up to 27 months.
The Giudices have appeared in five seasons of the reality show on the Bravo channel, where they reveled in their luxury lifestyle and spent lavishly on their children and themselves.
In the first episode, Teresa Giudice paid $120,000 in cash to furnish a room in their house styled after a French chateau.
In their plea deals, the couple admitted that from 2001 through 2008, they submitted fraudulent applications for mortgages and other loans, falsely claiming to have substantial salaries.
In September 2001, Teresa Giudice applied for a $121,500 mortgage by falsely claiming she worked as an executive assistant and submitting fake W-2 forms and fake pay stubs, prosecutors said.
In 2005, for a $361,250 mortgage, she falsely claimed to be working as a real estate agent making $15,000 a month, when in truth she was unemployed, they said.
In 2009, they filed for bankruptcy protection, concealing businesses they owned, income from rental property, and Teresa Giudice’s income from the "Housewives" show, prosecutors said.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Mohammad Zargham)