Teresa and Joe Giudice, who star on the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” show, are facing prison time after being charged with 39 counts of financial fraud.
The couple headed into a federal court Tuesday morning as they face charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan apps, and bankruptcy fraud.
The reality stars face a maximum sentence of over 50 years in prison.
Teresa Giudice’s attorney says she will plead not guilty and that “we look forward to vindicating her”.
Teresa issued a statement on Monday saying “today is a most difficult day for our family”.
She explains, “I support Joe and, as a wonderful husband and father, I know he wants only the best for our lovely daughters and me I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career. As a result, I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the Government as quickly as possible”.
The charges against the reality show couple all stem from the years of 2001 and 2008, before they found fame on television.
The US Attorney claims the Giudices conspired to illegally obtain mortgages and other loans from multiple banks by intentionally overestimating their incomes in order to get more money.
Teresa filed for a mortgage loan of $121,000 in 2001, claiming she worked as an executive assistant, submitting fake W-2 forms and fake paystubs.
Joe, 43, is also accused of failing to file income tax returns for the years 2004-2008, during which he allegedly earned $1 million.
The couple were declared bankrupt and underestimated their net worth. They first filed for bankruptcy in 2009, claiming over $10 million in debts.
In their petition for bankruptcy protection, the couple concealed businesses they owned, rental income they received, and 41-year-old Teresa’s true income from “Real Housewives”, website sales and personal appearances.
Prosecutors said Teresa and Joe Giudice also failed to list their future increase in income from the then-upcoming second year of the show, which is now in its fifth season.
Teresa and Joe Giudice are each free on $500k bond after surrendering to federal authorities on Tuesday morning.
Both Teresa and Joe had to surrender their passports and are restricted to New York and New Jersey.
The “Real Housewives of New Jersey” couple is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in New Jersey on August 14.
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