UPDATE: During a hearing Tuesday afternoon, a federal judge ordered that Raffaello Follieri be held on $21 million bail on charges of bilking investors out of between $2.5 million and $6 million by pretending to be a real estate point man for the Vatican.
"In short, your honor, he is a con man," U.S. Attorney Reed Michael Brodsky said in court. "He was able to con a lot of people out of a lot of money over a long period of time."
Until he posts bail, at least $16 million of which must come from his own liquid assets, Raffaello is confined to his New York home.
"This is one the stiffest bail packages I have ever seen," his attorney, Flora Edwards, told reporters outside the courthouse. "We are going to do everything we can to meet it."
Meanwhile, a rep for Follieri told the New York Daily News that he is planning to "vigorously" defend himself against the charges.
A status hearing has been set for July 9.
It's probably safe to say that Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend isn't having the best week ever.
Just one week after E! News confirmed that he and the Get Smart star parted ways after four years together—in the nick of time, as it turns out for her—Italian businessman Raffaello Follieri has been arrested in Manhattan on charges of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering.
Follieri allegedly padded his résumé a bit too liberally. He's accused of telling an investor that no less an institution than the Vatican had appointed him its chief financial officer.
According to prosecutors, the newly single businessman claimed the holy connection in order to purchase U.S. properties owned by the Catholic church at a discounted rate.
Unfortunately for him, it's not the first time the 29-year-old has had a run-in with the law.
Last week, E! News learned that a default judgment had been filed against the businessman after he failed to pay American Express Bank $499,100.21, with interest dating back to last September.
Earlier this month it was also revealed the entrepreneur was under investigation by the New York State Attorney General after it was discovered he failed to file the requisite IRS tax disclosure forms for his charitable Follieri Foundation.
He was also arrested back in April, when he allegedly bounced a $215,000 check to a business associate. But that charge was eventually dropped.
Maybe Follieri should've paid a few more visits to the set of Get Smart. Then maybe he would have gotten it himself.
Originally published Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 8:42 a.m. PT