They won’t show up as characters in the wildly popular Netflix production of Orange is the New Black, but reality TV show stars who appear in the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” probably wouldn’t mind getting a little more publicity and a little less prison time for their fraud convictions. Teresa Guidice and her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Guidice were sentenced recently in U.S. District Court, according to this article in My San Antonio online. And while a San Antonio white collar crime attorney would take his clients seriously, he’s bound to snicker along with the rest of us when thinking about how some stars are never off the stage. Except when they’re in prison.
Judge Esther Salas staggered the sentences for the colluding couple, which was a thoughtful thing to do given the Guidice’s young children and pretty lenient considering their charges of conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud: a San Antonio white collar crime attorney familiar with the sentencing of cases such as these would say that the family is lucky. She only got 15 months in prison, and he received 41, which is pretty nice, considering all the ripping off they did together, all while smiling for the public in a reality drama show that will seem tame compared to what they discover behind bars.
I mean, if Orange is the New Black is any indication of what prison is like (probably about as accurately representative of the experience as “Real Housewives” is of the average family in New Jersey), Teresa Guidice can expect less privacy (which she’s probably used to), more scheming (which she’s proven that she’s good at), and terrible food (unless she insults the cook and gets starved out). Any San Antonio white collar crime attorney who’s familiar with what their clients can actually expect would probably laugh at this description of prison, but we’re standing by it given Orange is the New Black’s perpetuation of the myth into pop culture via mass internet streaming.
To be fair, Teresa has apologized publicly and very appropriately expressed regret and her “need to learn to take responsibility,” which was probably a more accurate statement of what needs to happen in her life than has ever been represented on TV. And possibly ever will be—there’s been no comment from NBCUniversal, but it’s not likely they’ll return to the “Real Housewives show,” especially given Joe Guidice’s likely deportation. He’ll have “an immigration hearing when he completes his sentence,” since his attorney has disclosed that he was brought to the U.S. as an infant “and didn’t’ know he wasn’t an American citizen until he was an adult.”
For lawyers like San Antonio white collar crime attorney Micah McBride, the “I didn’t know” excuse is old and often overused, but that doesn’t stop clients like Guidice from throwing it out there and seeing what they can get from it. Besides the mob of media and spectators who are continuing to hinge on every detail of the case, that is. Maybe the Guidices are just hoping their fame will outlast their prison sentences, but that isn’t very likely.