Celebrity News

Anne Hathaway's Ex Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

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Sep 10, 2008 | 9:51am EDT

Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri is facing at least four years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of fraud on Wednesday.

Follieri, 30, entered his plea to each of 14 counts charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in a Manhattan Federal court in front of U.S. District Judge John Koeltl.

The Italian businessman was arrested on June 24--shortly after his split from Hathaway--and accused of operating a scheme between 2005 and 2007 allowing him to purchase unwanted U.S. properties owned by the Catholic Church.

In part of a statement Follieri read in court on Wednesday, he said: "I wired money from a New York bank to the Vatican bank in Rome to promote my relationship with the Vatican... I knew what I was doing was wrong."

As part of his plea, Follieri admitted misappropriating at least $2.4 million of investor money, sending it to foreign personal bank accounts that were disguised as business accounts, and using the funds for his own expenses.

On the most serious charges, Follieri faces a possible maximum term of 20 years imprisonment.

Speaking outside court, Follieri's lawyer, Flora Edwards, said, "As with many people, he got sidetracked by the need to adopt a lifestyle he couldn't maintain."

His sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 3.

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