Television star, Joe Giudice just pleaded guilty to bank and mortgage fraud and received a sentence of three years and five months in prison with the sentence to begin only after his wife, Teresa finishes her 15-month sentence. But the upcoming jail time and disruption of his family (Teresa and he have four daughters) may be just the beginning of his legal problems. Because of the nature of his offenses, he could be subject to deportation from this country as well.
Giudice is a native of Italy and is not a citizen of the United States. He has developed some notoriety from his role in the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” television series as has his wife. Under federal law, he could be deported because he has now been convicted of what may be categorized as an “aggravated felony”. Aggravated felonies include murder, sexual abuse of a minor, and fraud or tax evasion involving more than a $10,000 loss or potential loss to the victim or government. In this instance, the Government alleged he and his wife engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars of loans, and pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three counts of bankruptcy fraud by concealment of assets, testifying falsely and making false declarations in a court filing. Joe also pleaded guilty to failing to file a tax return for 2004. On the face of it, it appears likely that such an offense warrants deportation under the law.
But at this point it is unclear whether and when the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) would seek to deport him. Generally, ICE will opt for deportees to serve their entire sentence in the federal system before they would want him to be deported. “They want them to do most of the time,” said Edward Shulman, an immigration attorney based in Paterson, New Jersey adding that ICE could begin proceedings at any time. “They could come pick him up tomorrow. I doubt they would do that, but they have the discretion to do so.”
In anticipation of that action, Giudice’s own attorney may seek to argue that the offenses for which he was convicted do not constitute “aggravated felonies”. At the plea hearing in which he admitted guilt, Guidice was advised that he could potentially be deported on the basis of these offenses on his record. But that presiding federal judge is not the arbiter of what constitutes such a felony. Many non-citizens will seek to subsequently have their guilty pleas for certain offenses overturned when they realize they are facing deportation but, in light of the warnings given Giudice, any such challenge to his conviction in the future has little chance of success.
At The Shulman Law Group, LLC our immigration lawyers have experience with those who are in the United States, have been charged or convicted of a crime, and are subsequently placed in deportation or removal proceedings. Our lawyers are constantly seeking to find creative solutions to our clients' deportation problems by staying abreast of new laws and regulations in addition to federal court decisions affecting immigrants. We also vigorously pursue post-conviction remedies in criminal cases to create affirmative defenses from deportation and /or removal, or to allow aliens to qualify for deportation /removal discretionary waivers.