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Real Housewives of New Jersey's Joe Giudice's Father Has Died

Real Housewives of New Jersey's Joe Giudice's Father Has Died
Frank and Joe Giudice
Courtesy Teresa and Joe Giudice

updated 06/19/2014 at 03:30 PM EDT

originally published 06/19/2014 02:40PM

With just weeks until they are due in court to be sentenced on fraud charges, Joe and Teresa Giudice are now coping with the unexpected death of Joe's father, Frank.

The 63-year-old collapsed and died Wednesday while spending time at the reality TV couple's home in Towaco, New Jersey.

"Sadly it is true that the father of my client and friend Joe Giudice passed away today @Teresa_Giudice asks for privacy and prayers," Wendy Feldman, the family’s crisis PR rep, Tweeted.

While Frank didn't play a central role on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, he did appear in several episodes with his wife, Filomena.

His death comes just as Teresa and Joe prepare to face a U.S. District Court judge in Newark on July 8, where they will be sentenced on fraud charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three counts of bankruptcy fraud.

Teresa faces 21 to 27 months in federal prison, according to her attorney, while Joe will likely serve between 37 and 46 months. The attorney also says they have the right to ask for probation.

As for whether this may impact their sentencing, Teresa's lawyer, Henry Klingeman, is optimistic it may be delayed until September.

"The family is mourning Mr. Giudice," says Klingeman, adding that while he does not expect his passing to "have any direct impact on the case, the judge will undoubtedly consider all of the family circumstances when making her decisions."

As for whether this may impact their sentencing, Teresa's lawyer, Henry Klingeman, is optimistic it may be delayed until September.

"The family is mourning Mr. Giudice," says Klingeman, adding that while he does not expect his passing to "have any direct impact on the case, the judge will undoubtedly consider all of the family circumstances when making her decisions."

TMZ was the first to report the news of Frank Giudice's death.

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