Raffaello Follieri Gets Four and a Half Years

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Raffaello Follieri, who pleaded guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, was sentenced Thursday to 4.5 years in prison.

The Italian-born real estate-business magnate, 30, was arrested in June.

Raffaello Follieri Photograph

He was accused of lying to investors by claiming to be the CFO of the Vatican and using swindled funds for a trip to the Dominican Republic over New Year's 2005-2006 with his "then girlfriend" (Anne Hathaway) and another couple.

Raffaello Follieri used the funds for rent ($37,000 / month), medical bills for himself and his "then girlfriend," orthodontist bills for his dad, etc.

His attorney, Flora Edwards, has said her client had good intentions when he started a business to buy property from the Catholic church but that he soon "became intoxicated with it all" when he began moving in A-list circles.

Anne Hathaway and Raffaello Follieri dated for four years but split in June just before his arrest. He conceivably could have faced up to 265 years in prison, but agreed not to appeal a sentence less than 63 months in the big house.

The con man's plea agreement included a stipulation that he forfeit $2.44 million (the amount representing what he obtained via illegal activity). He also agreed to forfeit 12 wristwatches and nine pieces of fine jewelry. Ouch.

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