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Teresa Giudice Tells Todd and Julie Chrisley to ‘Stand Strong’ and ‘Stay Connected’ to Kids amid Legal Woes

After serving time for a similar crime, Teresa Giudice is giving advice to Todd and Julie Chrisley as they prepare to report to prison for their financial crime convictions.

Back in 2015, The Real Housewives of New Jersey star, 50, completed 11 months of a 15-month fraud sentence. Her now ex-husband Joe Giudice served his own a 41-month sentence in 2016 after pleading guilty to mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud charges. He was later held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and eventually deported to his native Italy.

Now Teresa is telling Todd, 53, and Julie, 49, to “stand strong for their family and manifest while being in prison what they want when they come out and just to be strong for their children.”

“It’s going to be very hard but they have to make the best of it,” she said in an interview with TMZ. “But they have to stand strong for their family and stay connected to their children and make it work.”

Teresa also hopes the two Chrisley Knows Best stars’ children will regularly visit them in prison, saying her own four daughters “came every week” to see her.

“The thing is, my children were young,” she recalled. “But based on their schedule, at least, go once a month. They have to always keep it connected. Keep their family connected. Stand strong together.”

<a href="https://people.com/tag/teresa-giudice/" data-inlink="true">Teresa Giudice</a>, Todd and Julie Chrisley

<a href="https://people.com/tag/teresa-giudice/" data-inlink="true">Teresa Giudice</a>, Todd and Julie Chrisley

Lars Niki/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty; Kevin Mazur/ACMA2017/Getty

Teresa’s remarks come shortly after Joe, 50, also commented on the Chrisleys’ legal situation.

“I mean, these people did the same, exact thing we did, that I did — not Teresa, me,” he said on Teresa and Melissa Pfeister’s Namaste B$tches podcast. “It was probably, I say, 90 percent of the world does, the U.S. does — did — during the times, but they targeted us, and now these people here did the same exact thing, same exact charges.”

Joe feels that Todd and Julie’s decision to go to trial ultimately impacted them negatively, resulting in them getting a harsher sentence. The former RHONJ star also argued that the longtime couple could’ve faired better if they “would have taken the plea” as he did with Teresa.

“They would’ve probably got a slap on the wrist, they would’ve gone to prison, maybe the wife would’ve gone to prison same [amount of] time as Teresa, if that. And the guy would’ve probably got the same amount I got, which he would’ve been out in, you know, 17 months, ‘cause he could’ve done the drug program and he’s a citizen and this and that, so he would’ve been out 16 months, 17 months,” Joe explained. “But being that he went to trial, OK? They crucified him, all right? They give you double time.”

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 20: Julie Chrisley (L) and Todd Chrisley attend the grand opening of E3 Chophouse Nashville on November 20, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images for E3 Chophouse Nashville)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 20: Julie Chrisley (L) and Todd Chrisley attend the grand opening of E3 Chophouse Nashville on November 20, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images for E3 Chophouse Nashville)

Julie and Todd Chrisley.
Danielle Del Valle/Getty for E3 Chophouse Nashville

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In November, Todd was sentenced to 12 years in prison with 16 months probation. Julie received seven years in prison alongside 16 months probation.

The pair have since been ordered to report to prison in Florida on Jan. 17, though they’re currently in the process of appealing their case.

Ahead of their upcoming prison stint, their daughter Lindsie Chrisley revealed to PEOPLE how her parents are spending their final weeks.

“My parents regularly say, and I believe they’ve said on their podcast as well, that at this time it’s basically living every day like it’s your last, enjoying the moment, spending time with their kids that are in Nashville,” she said.

“Of course, I’m spending time with my parents over the phone because I also have shared custody [with my ex-husband William Campbell]. So I don’t have the luxury of being able to just pick up and go to Nashville and be there until January,” the Coffee Convos co-host continued. “But my parents are definitely dedicating their time in therapy and their biblical studies as well as with their children.”