LATEST: Actress Anne Hathaway was reportedly forced to turn over a trove of expensive jewellery allegedly given to her by ex-boyfriend RAFFAELLO FOLLIERI after authorities discovered they were purchased illegally.
Follieri, 30, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering in a Manhattan Federal court on Wednesday (10Sep08).
The Italian businessman was arrested on 24 June (08) - shortly after his split from Hathaway - and accused of operating a scheme between 2005 and 2007 allowing him to purchase unwanted U.S. properties owned by the Catholic Church.
As part of the plea agreement, Follieri signed-off on any right to the 12 pieces of jewellery authorities had "recovered" from an unnamed individual last month (Aug08), according to court documents. The gems were allegedly given to Hathaway by her ex.
Follieri admitted misappropriating at least $2.4 million (GBP1.3million) of investor money in the case, sending it to foreign personal bank accounts that were disguised as business accounts, and using the funds for his own expenses.
A spokesperson for Hathaway has declined to comment.
Follieri will face a minimum of five years in jail when he is sentenced on 3 October (08).