Joe Giudice is a free man.
“Mr. Giudice has finished serving his federal prison sentence and was transferred early this morning from the Bureau of Prisons to a facility in western Pennsylvania which houses immigration detainees,” his attorney James Leonard Jr. tells PEOPLE. “His lawyers and his family are hopeful that justice will prevail and Mr. Guidice will return home to his wife and four daughters who love him and miss him.”
Joe, 46, began his 41-month sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud in March 2016. His wife Teresa Giudice, 46, served a little over 11 months in prison herself for the same crimes and was released on Dec. 23, 2015.
A source previously told PEOPLE that Giudice will remain at the immigration center indefinitely as he awaits his deportation ruling.
In October, an immigration court ruled to deport Joe to his native Italy after his prison sentence. (Even though he has lived in the United States since he was a child, he never obtained American citizenship, and immigrants can be deported if they are convicted of “a crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony,” according to U.S. law.)
He filed an appeal against the order in November.
Joe’s release comes weeks after Teresa was photographed holding hands in the Florida city with Blake Schreck, a realtor who is 20 years her junior.
Teresa’s attorney has denied that they were romantically involved, telling PEOPLE that the two were just friends and that their interactions were brief and completely amicable. (“There is no cheating, no divorce,” he said. “End of story.”) And during the RHONJreunion, Teresa denied that she had ever cheated on Joe, too.
The couple has remained by one another’s side through their legal problems, but they have been open about the effect their legal problems had on their marriage and their four daughters.
“I never thought I’d be in this position,” Teresa previously said. “It’s very difficult. We’ve been through a lot. I’ve gone through ups and downs, being angry — but listen, I have to stay strong. I have four beautiful daughters that need their mommy. … [We’re] taking it one day at a time.”
Source: People Jodi Guglielmi
Photo Credit: People
Photo Credit: Entertainment Tonight