Teresa and Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, the couple on Bravo’s hit reality TV show, “Real Housewives of New Jersey” both pleaded guilty this week to mortgage and bankruptcy fraud. The popular reality show featured a handful of “supposedly” wealthy cast mates flaunting their lavish lifestyles for five seasons. The Giudices, in particular, flaunted cash freely on the show.
Teresa, 41, and Joe, 43, admitted to conspiring for years to defraud banks and other lending institutions while seeking nearly $5 million in construction loans home equity loans and mortgages. They also admitted to misleading a federal bankruptcy court. After applying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2009, the Giudice’s failed to disclose Teresa’s true income from the “Real Housewives” show and personal and magazine appearances. They also concealed businesses they owned and money made from rental income.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Joe Giudice is facing a recommended prison sentence of 37 to 46 months. Teresa’s lawyer is pushing for a much lesser sentence of only probation, saying she bears less responsibility than Joe for their decade of fraud and noting that the couple has four daughters who need to be cared for. Under the sentencing guidelines, it is recommended that Teresa receive less than 2 ¼ years in prison.
During the 75-minute hearing, before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, both of the Giudices admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of bankruptcy fraud by concealment of assets, one count of bankruptcy fraud by false oaths, and one count of bankruptcy fraud by false declarations.
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