'Real Housewives' stars Teresa, Joe Giudice reportedly plan to plead guilty on fraud charges - NorthJersey.com
Teresa and Joe Giudice, stars of the Bravo network’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” have reached a plea agreement with prosecutors to resolve federal fraud charges in a deal that could send them to prison, a source familiar with the case said Friday.
The Montville couple will appear before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark on Tuesday to plead guilty to several mortgage and bankruptcy fraud charges, the source said.
Teresa Giudice would face less than two years in prison and her husband a minimum of three years, under federal sentencing guidelines, the source said.
A Bravo spokesperson said, “no comment,” when asked Friday for reaction to the report.
Indicted last year, the Giudices were scheduled to stand trial on April 14 on 41 counts alleging that between 2001 and 2011 they engaged in conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. They both were charged with bank fraud, loan application fraud and bankruptcy fraud. Joe Giudice also is charged with failing to file tax returns for 2005-2009, and will plead guilty to a tax count, the source said.
Prosecutors allege the couple used fake pay stubs, tax returns and W-2 forms to inflate their incomes and obtain nearly $5 million in mortgages and other loans. They also allegedly concealed income derived from their Bravo cable television show and other business ventures after filing for bankruptcy in 2009.
Prosecutors required that the couple accept a “a packaged deal,” meaning that one defendant “could not plead without the other,” the source said.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office would not comment on the plea arrangements.
Miles Feinstein, a Clifton attorney who is representing Joe Giudice, said the couple will be in court next week, but he would not confirm or deny that pleas will be entered at that time.
At the same time, Feinstein said that a report by In Touch Weekly that Joe would serve a minimum of five years in federal prison and avoid deportation, and Teresa would have a maximum of five years probation was erroneous. He declined to elaborate.
Teresa Giudice’s lawyer, Henry Klingeman, could not be reached for comment.
In court filings in January, the Giudices asked Judge Salas to grant them separate trials, arguing that Joe Giudice has evidence of his wife’s innocence, but he would not testify if they are forced to stand trial together. Teresa Giudice said she wanted to testify on her own behalf, but not against her husband. Prosecutors opposed separate trials.
As a citizen of Italy, Joe Giudice could face deportation after serving time in prison.
Joe Giudice still is facing state charges for allegedly using false identification to obtain a driver’s license in 2010, while his license was under suspension following an intoxicated driving charge.
Giudice had by then accumulated 39 points on his license, for a variety of motor vehicle offenses; his license had also been suspended 47 times, according to a report from ABC News, which cited state records.
A trial date on the state charges, which could send him to jail for 10 years, has not been set after several postponements.