Joe and Teresa Giudice have been ordered to stand trial next summer (7/14-15) on charges related to bankruptcy fraud. A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for December 14th. The major charges are:
* Failure to report $250,000 (an advance Teresa received from a publishing deal for her book)
* Failure to report Joe’s ownership/interest in a Pizza shop
* Failure to report a $3,333.33 monthly income
* Concealing assets including a bank account of Joe’s, two pieces of real property, vehicles, and the ownership of an online boutique called TG Fabulicious
* Presenting false income tax returns to the bankruptcy court
Debtors who are found to have committed bankruptcy fraud face three kinds of penalties:
1. forfeiture of their right to receive a discharge of their debts
2. criminal sanctions, including up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000
3. loss of their exemptions in any property that they attempted to hide or give away.
I think the likely outcome will be that their Chapter 7 petition will be thrown out, and there will be no discharge of their $11M pile of debt. I also think they are likely to be heftily fined, if only because of the fraudulent tax returns they submitted as evidence. Those tax returns had never actually been filed with the IRS. This particular kind of fraud usually gets judges outraged.
I am kind of hoping that we'll be able to watch this on Court TV.