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Anne Hathaway's ex freed from Pennsylvania prison

 |  NCR Today

Timing is everything. On the day the Vatican police arrested Pope Benedict XVI's butler, the alleged leaker of confidential documents, Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway's former beau, Raffaello Follieri, was released from prison. Our late NCR publisher, Joe Feuerherd, covered this story from the beginning.

Here's an excerpt from Joe's coverage back in 2006:

The [Follieri] firm's literature mentions no specific Vatican figures, but the Follieri group clearly has ties to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state since 1991. Andrea Sodano, the cardinal's nephew, is a Follieri Group vice president, a fact widely known in U.S. church real estate circles.

Raffaello Follieri, the Group's charismatic 27-year-old chief executive officer, said the company does not use its Vatican ties to gain access to church officials. Andrea Sodano, Follieri told NCR, is a renowned engineer in Italy with long-standing ties to the Follieri family's development business there and extensive experience in converting church property to other uses. Sodano is a "technical person" who "does not do [marketing] relations for us," said Follieri.

In an e-mail response to an NCR inquiry Andrea Sodano said: "I have worked with the Follieri family for the past 15 years as an engineering consultant. My involvement long predates The Follieri Group's interest in the States. The Follieri Group's long and successful track record in real estate speaks for itself."

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He also wrote an update in June 2010.

Friday's New York Post reported:

An Italian ex-boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway has been released from a Pennsylvania federal prison following a real-estate scam.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke says Raffaello Follieri was released Friday morning from a prison in Loretto, 80 miles east of Pittsburgh. He says non-residents are usually transferred to immigration authorities.

Follieri pleaded guilty to cheating investors by falsely claiming he had Vatican connections that enabled him to buy church property at a discount. He was sentenced in 2008 to 4 1/2 years in prison.

Follieri agrees he owes more than $3.6 million to those he ripped off. The proceeds supported a playboy lifestyle that included a $37,000-a-month New York City apartment and lavish vacations with the star of "The Princess Diaries."

They dated for four years.

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