June 25, 2008 02:59:18 GMT
The real estate developer was arrested and set to appear for a court hearing scheduled for July 9 to face charges of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Raffaello Follieri, an Italian businessman who's well known as the longtime boyfriend of Hollywood movie actress Anne Hathaway, was arrested on Tuesday, June 24 for fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The multimillionaire real estate developer appeared in court later that day and was placed under home detention, with an electronic monitoring device and may only leave his apartment for legal, medical or religious reasons. His bail is set for $21 million.
Follieri is accused of falsely telling an investor that he had been appointed as the chief financial officer of the Vatican with the intention to obtain properties of the Catholic church in the United States at a substantial discount to fair market value. Worse, he and other suspected investors were also accused to have spent up to $6 million from investors, much of it on a lavish lifestyle, including privately chartered jet travel with his then girlfriend Hathaway and others, expensive meals and clothing and a posh Manhattan apartment.
Prosecutors argued that Follieri was a "con man" and a "high potential risk of flight," who would flee the country and had the financial means to do so. The prosecutor, thus, said that Follieri, who is not a U.S. citizen, should be deported. The prosecutor also claimed Follieri tested positive for opiates from a urine sample earlier Tuesday morning. Follieri himself looked angry and repeatedly interrupted his lawyer at a court appearance to tell her what to say.
Of the $21 million bail set by the judge, the $16 million would have to be paid in cash or by liquid assets and properties whereas the remaining $5 million from co-signers. A lawyer for Follieri said "This is one the stiffest bail packages I have ever seen. We are going to do everything we can to meet it."
The judge, additionally, also is confiscating Follieri's passport and restricting his travel to within Manhattan. He did not enter a plea as of press time and is "under a tremendous amount of stress, but he is a very brave young man and he's ready to go forward," the lawyer added.
Hathaway, who broke her love relationship with Follieri earlier this month, is not mentioned by name in the complaint against him. A status hearing was set for July 9.