Image: Raffaello Follieri
Evan Agostini  /  Getty Images file
Actress Anne Hathaway and ex-boyfriend, Raffaello Follieri, attend The Fashion Group International's 23rd Annual Night of Stars at Cipriani's 42nd Street in New York City in 2006.
updated 10/23/2008 5:04:41 PM ET 2008-10-23T21:04:41

A Manhattan judge sentenced actress Anne Hathaway's ex-boyfriend to 4 1/2 years in prison for cheating investors by claiming he had Vatican connections that allowed him to buy Catholic Church property at a discount.

Raffaello Follieri pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and had agreed to forfeit $2.4 million.

The U.S. government said Follieri claimed he was the chief financial officer of the Vatican — and showed at least one business contact a phony letter in Italian, purportedly written to him in 2002 by Pope John Paul II.

Prosecutors said he used several million dollars from investors to travel the world on private planes, enjoying expensive hotels and dinners and renting yachts. He spent $37,000 a month for a Manhattan apartment.

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