Raffaello Follieri is accused of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud

By Alyssa Shelasky and Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Updated June 24, 2008 12:15 PM
Credit: Splash News Online

Italian businessman Raffaello Follieri, whom Get Smart actress Anne Hathaway broke up with earlier this month, has been arrested for fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Follieri, no stranger to scandals, has been accused of lying to investors, claiming to be the CFO of the Vatican, the Associated Press reports. He is due in Manhattan federal court Tuesday.

Hathaway, 25, is not mentioned by name in the complaint against Follieri, 29, but he’s accused of using the swindled funds in question for a trip to the Dominican Republic over New Years 2005/2006 with his “then girlfriend” and another couple. According to the papers filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he also used the funds for his $37,000-a month-apartment rent, medical bills for himself and his “then girlfriend” as well as orthodontist bills for his father.

The complaint also charges that he kept clergy robes in his office and once asked a monsignor to change into the uniform of a more senior clergyman in order to beef up his alleged Vatican connections.

According to another new press release the U.S. Attorney’s Office issued, Follieri could go to prison for life.

Breakdown of the Charges

  • Six counts of wire fraud and each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
  • Five counts of money laundering and each count also carries a max of 20 years in jail.
  • One count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years behind bars.

Checkered Past

Hathaway and Follieri have been in the spotlight for several months as a result of his legal issues.

Follieri was recently under investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s office, which has no record of IRS tax disclosure forms necessary for his charitable Follieri Foundation.

He was also arrested in April for allegedly writing a $215,000 bad check, but was cleared of that charge upon repayment of the funds.

On June 16, Hathaway walked the Get Smart red carpet alone in Los Angeles, with friends confirming the on-and-off-again couple’s current split.

Hathaway’s rep declined to comment.