Teresa Giudice turns herself in to begin prison sentence

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'Real Housewives' Star Teresa Giudice Reports to Prison


Teresa Giudice started her 15-month sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., surrendering just before 3 a.m. on Monday morning -- seven hours ahead of her scheduled intake.

"She was ready," Teresa's lawyer, James J. Leonard Jr., said in a statement to NJ Advance Media. "Teresa is a very strong woman, she won't have any problems in there."

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The reality star was spotted in the back of a black SUV leaving her Montville Township mansion just around midnight. Her attorney was driving the vehicle. "When we arrived at Danbury, everyone we encountered was extremely courteous and respectful," Leonard said.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star was sentenced on Oct. 2, 2014 to serve time behind bars after she and her husband Joe Giudice pleaded guilty to fraud charges in March 2014. The 39-count indictment filed in July 2013 included bank fraud, mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. Teresa and her husband, both age 42, earned more than $5 million from their fraudulent behavior.

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Teresa Giudice turns herself in to begin prison sentence
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 11159 -- Pictured: (l-r) Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 11159 -- Pictured: (l-r) Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 11159 -- Pictured: (l-r) Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 11159 -- Pictured: Teresa Giudice -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 11159 -- Pictured: (l-r) Andy Cohen, Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 11159 -- Pictured: (l-r) Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 11159 -- Pictured: (l-r) Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2014, file photo, "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, center, and his wife, Teresa Giudice, right, of Montville Township, N.J., walk toward the Martin Luther King Jr. Courthouse before a court appearance, in Newark, N.J. Joe Giudice is set to appear in Passaic County court on state false identification charges. He is accused of using his brother's identity to obtain a driver's license while his own license was suspended for driving while intoxicated in 2010. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Joe Giudice (2nd from L) and wife Teresa Giudice arrive for sentencing at federal court in Newark on October 2, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Joe Giudice (2nd from L) and wife Teresa Giudice arrive for sentencing at federal court in Newark on October 2, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Joe Giudice (L) and wife Teresa Giudice arrive for sentencing at federal court in Newark on October 2, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Joe Giudice (9th from L) and wife Teresa Giudice arrive for sentencing at federal court in Newark on October 2, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Teresa Giudice (2nd from L) and Joe Giudice leave after being sentenced at federal court in Newark on October 2, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Teresa Giudice (L) and Joe Giudice leave after being sentenced at federal court in Newark on October 2, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: Teresa Giudice (R) and her husband Giuseppe 'Joe' Giudice leave Newark federal court on November 20, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The two of the stars of the Bravo television show 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' are appearing in court to face additional charges of bank fraud and loan application fraud in addition to original charges of defrauding lenders, illegally obtaining mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 14: Giuseppe 'Joe' Giudice (L) and wife Teresa Giudice leave court after facing charges of defrauding lenders, illegally obtaining mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case on August 14, 2013 in Newark, United States. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: Giuseppe 'Joe' Giudice (R) and wife Teresa Giudice arrive to Newark federal court on November 20, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The two of the stars of the Bravo television show 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' are appearing in court to face additional charges of bank fraud and loan application fraud in addition to original charges of defrauding lenders, illegally obtaining mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 14: Giuseppe 'Joe' Giudice (L) and wife Teresa Giudice leave court after facing charges of defrauding lenders, illegally obtaining mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case on August 14, 2013 in Newark, United States. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 14: Giuseppe 'Joe' Giudice (L) and wife Teresa Giudice appear in court to face charges of defrauding lenders, illegally obtaining mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case on August 14, 2013 in Newark, United States. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 14: Giuseppe 'Joe' Giudice (L) and wife Teresa Giudice appear in court to face charges of defrauding lenders, illegally obtaining mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case on August 14, 2013 in Newark, United States. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 14: Giuseppe 'Joe' Giudice (L) and wife Teresa Giudice appear in court to face charges of defrauding lenders, illegally obtaining mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case on August 14, 2013 in Newark, United States. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY -- 'Get to the Punta!' Episode 317 -- Pictured: (l-r) Teresa Giudice, Giuseppe Gorga (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, the husband of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice, appeared in Superior Court in Paterson, N.J., on Monday, June 2, 2014. Giudice is awaiting trial on charges that he presented false identification to obtain a driver's license while his license was suspended. The case was continued until July 14. (AP Photo/The Record of Bergen County, Amy Newman, Pool)
Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, 43, left, and his wife, Teresa Giudice, 41, of Montville Township, N.J., walk out of Martin Luther King, Jr. Courthouse after a court appearance, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Newark, N.J. The two cast members of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" pleaded not guilty to charges of bank fraud and loan application fraud. Authorities allege the couple prepared a mortgage loan application stating that Teresa Giudice worked as a real estate agent and made $15,000 a month. In reality, authorities say she was not employed. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
FILE - This Sept. 13, 2009 file photo originally released by Oral-B Pulsonic shows "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars, Teresa Giudice, left, and her husband Joe Giudice at the Caravan Fashion Show sponsored by Oral-B Pulsonic in New York. Teresa and Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice were charged in a 39-count indictment handed up Monday, July 29, 2013, in Newark, N.J. The two are accused of submitting fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications from 2001 through 2008, a year before their show debuted on Bravo. Prosecutors say they made false claims about their employment status and salaries. (AP Photo/Oral-B Pulsonic, Gary He)
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NEWS: 11 Lessons Teresa Giudice Could Learn From Orange Is the New Black

Joe was sentenced to 41 months in prison, to be served after his wife completes her sentence and must pay $414,000 in restitution. The couple are serving their time separately so one of them can be home with their daughters.

Teresa admitted to Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen in October 2014 that the sentence came as a shock to the couple. She confessed to having sleepless nights and "needs to wake up."

"I do need to read things before I sign them," she said. "I do need to understand things before I sign them. I'm a trustworthy person, and sometimes I take what people say and I just believe them, and I trust them. And I can't do that anymore."

Leading up to Monday, Teresa had been spending her last days of freedom with her family and friends. The mother of four took in her daughter Gia's 3KT's holiday show on Dec. 26 and sat down with her friend Dina Manzo to make a New Year's resolution to stop eating bad carbs in 2015.

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While it's uncertain what she'll be eating behind bars, she will be serving time at the same prison inspired the hit Netflix show Orange Is the New Black.

Teresa and Joe's teenage daughter Gia has been tweeting in lead-up to her mother's prison sentence. "Support system is unreal," she wrote on Sunday, accompanied by a smiling face emoji and a growing heart, "#soblessed."


Cristianna Cardinale, a member of Gia's girl group 3KT, also posted a photo of Gia and Teresa, tweeting: "The 2 strongest girls I know and nothing's gonna change that."


Teresa assured Andy during their WWHL chat that she'll "be fine" in prison, saying, "I don't care about [my appearance]. I'll just slick my hair back and go about my day."

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