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Teresa Giudice is throwing one last punch before she reports to prison in January, suing her former bankruptcy lawyer for $5 million. In a petition filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star claims it is James Kridel's malpractice that ultimately resulted in her being sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for fraud.
Teresa and Joe Giudice hired Kridel back in 2009 when they filed for bankruptcy, claiming they were $11 million in debt. In this suit, obtained by The Insider With Yahoo, Teresa claims that Kridel mishandled their entire case. Though it was dropped in 2011, the bankruptcy filing — which Kridel oversaw for its duration — eventually led to both Teresa and Joe Giudice being charged with and convicted of federal fraud.
In the initial 39-count indictment, the federal government accused the Giudices of hiding rental income, as well as Teresa's Real Housewives salary. Teresa eventually pleaded guilty to four counts, including bankruptcy fraud; Joe pleaded guilty to five. In this new suit, Teresa claims it was Kridel who failed to report the family's earnings in full on the bankruptcy petition and adds that Kridel never even met or spoke with Teresa before he filed their claim.
Teresa is expected to report to a federal facility in Danbury, Connecticut on Jan. 5 to begin serving her 15-month sentence. Joe will serve 41 months after Teresa is released. He also faces possible deportation.
After the Giudices's sentencing in October, Kridel spoke with People, saying Teresa knew nothing about her family's finances.
"I did not believe that Teresa was all that knowledgeable about any of the finances of her family until ultimately she became the breadwinner," Kridel told the magazine. "Everyone seems to blame her that she knew or should have known. I don't find that to be true in real life, though. People come in and sign tax returns quite often, and the spouse who is not in charge of the finances has no information. They just do what the accountant tells them."
Yahoo has reached out to James Kridel for comment on the suit, and will update if and when he responds.