Published July 18, 2008
NEW YORK – Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri, arrested last month on charges of money laundering and wire fraud, is in talks to make a deal with prosecutors, the New York Post reports.
The Italian businessman, 30, "is in plea discussions," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Burns told the Post on Wednesday.
While Follieri could face up to nine years of jail time if convicted, a plea bargain could reduce that sentence to five or six years.
However, Follieri's lawyer Flora Edwards expressed surprise at news of a deal, saying that she's "certainly not saying that, and I'm not sure it's appropriate."
She also told the Post that the only thing she'd agreed to was an extension of time for her client's next appearance in a New York City federal court.
"As far as I'm concerned, we're looking forward to our day in court," she said.
Follieri was arrested in June on charges he posed as a representative of the Vatican to con investors wanting to buy and redevelop church properties. He is also accused of taking $6 million from his investment firm and spending it on a lavish lifestyle.
He is currently in jail with bail set at $21 million, as prosecutors believed he was a flight risk and had money in overseas bank accounts. When investigators searched his apartment, they found $15,000 in cash and Follieri's passport.