In March 2016, Joe, a legal permanent resident whose real name is Giuseppe Giudice, began a more than 3-year federal prison sentence after being indicted, along with Teresa, on charges of fraud. On Wednesday, a Pennsylvania immigration court judge ruled that he is to be removed from the United States, without giving a time frame, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Giudice's attorney declined comment when asked by E! News.
Joe, who shares four daughters with Teresa, was already in removal proceedings to return to his native Italy; Immigration and Customs Enforcement had lodged a detainer on him when he began his prison sentence two years ago.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Joe, 46, is due to be released from prison a few months early, in March 2019. He is expected to be transferred into ICE custody upon his release. He is also expected to appeal his case and has 30 days to do so.
"Mr. Guidice was ordered removed by an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review," ICE said in a statement to E! News. "Mr. Guidice has reserved his right to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals and has 30 days to file an appeal before the order becomes final."
"As standard practice, ICE, through its Criminal Alien Program (CAP) works with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to identify foreign-born nationals who are amenable to removal," the statement said. "These aliens are placed in removal proceedings while serving their criminal sentences in order to reduce ICE detention costs and expedite removals once BOP transfers are completed."
Teresa was not present at the immigration court hearing on Wednesday and has not commented publicly on the judge's ruling. The 46-year-old reality star had herself spent a shortened sentence of 11 months in jail in the fraud case and was released in December 2015.
In July 2013, the Giudices were charged with conspiring to defraud lenders and illegally obtain mortgages and other loans, as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case. They were indicted on charges of mail, wire, bank and bankruptcy fraud, as well as making false statements on loan applications. Joe was also charged with failure to file tax returns from 2004 to 2008, during which he allegedly earned nearly $1 million.