Husband of 'Real Housewives' star challenges prison ruling

FORT DIX, N.J. — The husband of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice says prison officials are improperly preventing him from entering an alcohol-treatment program as he serves a sentence for bankruptcy fraud.

Joe Giudice said authorities at Fort Dix are using a detainer placed on him by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a reason to exclude him from the prison's treatment program, according to a court filing Friday.

Inmates at the prison can't join the program if a detainer prevents completion of the community treatment aspect, according to the Bureau of Prisons' website. Giudice is to be deported to his native Italy after completing his 41-month sentence under federal immigration laws.

A judge recommended that Giudice participate in the program after he and his wife were sentenced in 2014.

The two pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud and submitting false loan applications to get $5 million in mortgages and construction loans. Joe Giudice also pleaded guilty to not paying about $200,000 in income taxes.

The judge staggered their sentences so one of them could be at home with their four daughters. Teresa Giudice completed her 15-month sentence in December 2015.

The alcohol-treatment program would have helped Joe Giudice reduce his prison sentence by up to one year.

Giudice also claimed in the filing that the prison is preventing him from fighting his scheduled deportation. The prison does not allow inmates to appear before immigration judges.

Giudice said other federal prisons allow inmates to challenge their deportations. The earliest he will be able to challenge the order is 2019.

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