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Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend gets 4 1/2 years in prison
Updated: 2008-10-24 09:16

Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend gets 4 1/2 years in prison
Actress Anne Hathaway sits with then-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri (L) in the front row during the 2008/2009 Miss Sixty fall collection show during New York Fashion Week in this February 3, 2008 file photo. The couple broke up in June 2008, according to People Magazine. [Agencies]

Anne Hathaway's former boyfriend was sentenced Thursday to 4 1/2 years in prison for cheating investors of millions of dollars by claiming he had Vatican connections that enabled him to buy Roman Catholic Church property at a discount, according to a AP report.

"I dishonored my family name and embarrassed the church I love. I'll never be able to wash away that stain, and I will have to live with it the rest of my life," Raffaello Follieri, 30, said through an Italian interpreter before he was sentenced. "I just hope someday those who have been hurt by my actions can forgive me."

U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl said Follieri had engaged in a significant fraud that hurt investors, will financially ruin him and will cause him to be deported after his prison term. The judge also cited Follieri's "lavish personal expenditures," which prosecutors have said were financed with his investors' money.

Follieri said he started off with good intentions, determined to run an honorable business.

"Instead, I made some terrible mistakes," he said. "I always thought I could repair the wrongdoing, but I was wrong."

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Reed Brodsky said Follieri had lied about his education, his background, his wealth and his Vatican connections from the moment he solicited investors through his real estate business, the Follieri Group.

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Those investors included Yucaipa Cos., which is controlled by supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle, a close friend of former President Clinton.

Follieri spent millions of dollars of investors' money on personal expenses, including flowers, cosmetics, clothes, wine, expensive dinners, dog-walking services, yacht rentals, a $37,000-a-month Manhattan condo and vacations for himself, his parents and Hathaway, prosecutors said.

They said he even he used $18,200 of investors' cash to settle a lawsuit over expenses he ran up on vacation with the "Get Smart" and "The Devil Wears Prada" star. The two dated for four years, until shortly before his arrest in June.

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