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'Real Housewives' star Teresa Giudice begins prison sentence

Reality TV star Teresa Giudice began serving a 15-month sentence Monday morning.
Teresa Giudice exits the Federal Court in Newark, N.J. on March 4, 2014. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
Teresa Giudice exits the Federal Court in Newark, N.J. on March 4, 2014.

So long, fancy dinners; hello, cafeteria food.

Teresa Giudice, star of Bravo’s hit reality show "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," turned herself in to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, early Monday to begin serving a 15-month sentence. Giudice pleaded guilty to tax fraud in March. 

Teresa and her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice were indicted in 2013 -- first for inflating their incomes while applying for loans between 2001 and 2008 (before "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" debuted in 2009), then for obscuring their growing fortunes by filing for bankruptcy (after the show aired).

Once Teresa is released, Joe will start serving his own 41-month sentence -- an arrangement that allows the couple’s four daughters to have one parent in the home while the other is behind bars. Joe, an Italian citizen, could face deportation after serving his time.

Giudice isn’t the first famous person to spend time at the Federal Correctional Institution. Piper Kerman, whose memoir inspired the hit Netflix show "Orange is the New Black," did time there for money laundering. And singer Lauryn Hill was locked up there for failing to pay income taxes

Before turning herself in, Giudice enjoyed a last meal of egg sandwiches at a 24-hour diner near the correctional facility. "The last thing she said was, basically, 'Tell everybody I'll be fine,' Giudice's lawyer James J. Leonard Jr. told NBC New York.

But prison has not put a damper on the family business. Joe and Teresa Giudice's oldest daughter, 13 year-old Gia, is following in her mom's footsteps by launching her own reality show.