The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars were officially charged this afternoon with a 39-count indictment of "allegedly conspiring to defraud lenders and illegally obtain mortgages, federal authorities said this afternoon," reports North Jersey.com. In addition they are accused of hiding assets and income during their bankruptcy case.
Teresa, who according to witnesses, displayed a subdued attitude, continued to stand by her husband who is accused of the bulk of the issues. “Today is a most difficult day for our family," Teresa told the judge. "I support Joe and, as a wonderful husband and father, I know he wants only the best for our lovely daughters and me."
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"I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career," Teresa continued. "As a result, I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the Government as quickly as possible." Since the family filed bankruptcy several years ago Teresa has gone into overdrive trying to earn money for her family, including withdrawing her bankruptcy with the intent to pay back her creditors.
The Giudices hired high-profile New Jersey attorney Henry Klingeman to defend them. “Teresa will plead 'not guilty.' The judicial process that begins today … is a search for the truth. As it moves forward, we look forward to vindicating her," he stated.
Among the indictments levied against the Giudices the federal grand jury charged them with "conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications, and bankruptcy fraud." They also charged Joe with failure to file tax returns for years 2004 -2008, despite allegedly earning $1 million.
Between those years Joe reportedly earned $996,459, but did not file any taxes.
Probably because Teresa spent $995,000 of it on sequins, tanning, and hair spray.
New Jersey's U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says if convicted the Giudices face many years in prison. “The indictment returned today alleges the Guidices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks,” he said in a statement. “Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when dealing with the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages. That’s reality.”
Breaking down the timeframe of the charges, authorities began investigating Joe in 2001. Authorities say that between September 2001 and September 2008, Teresa and Joe "allegedly committed mail and wire fraud conspiracy by submitting to lenders fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications and supporting documents in an effort to obtain mortgages and other loans."
This was during the boon of the sub-prime mortgage era, of course. As part of the 'scam' they are accused of perpetrating, authorities state that they misrepresented income, employment, and assets on loan applications and submitted falsified supporting documents stating they were employed and/or earning "substantial salaries" when in fact, they were neither employed or earning far less!
One example the authorities provided was that Teresa applied for a mortgage of $121,500 and on the loan application she falsely stated that she was employed as an executive assistant. She also submitted falsified W-2 forms and fake pay-stubs to "verify" this so-called employment!
The Giudices are also accused of bank fraud and loan-application fraud as they secured loans from several banks with purported means that were not true or accurate.
In 2009 they field for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they amended their petition multiple times over the next few months. Instead of honestly and accurately relaying assets, liabilities, income, and anticipated income authorities state that they withheld several factors and concealed pertinent information from the bankruptcy court.
The indictment alleges that Teresa and Joe "intentionally concealed businesses they owned, income they received from a rental property, and Teresa Giudice’s true income from the television show 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey,' website sales, and personal and magazine appearances." Additionally they allegedly intentionally concealed an anticipated income increase from the then-upcoming second season of RHONJ. I.e. Teresa got a raise and failed to report it to the bankruptcy trustee and she knew in advance she was getting the raise and did not notify them either! Oops.
Because of these behaviors among the 39-count indictment is multiple counts of bankruptcy "fraud for concealing and making false oaths and declarations about the assets and income during their bankruptcy case."
Each one of those charges is worth massive fines. They face up to 50 (FIFTY!) years in prison if convicted. Dang they are wracking up the legal fees. First Juicy's trial which starts in October and now this. Get those Bravo cameras rolling…
[Photo Credit: Joel Ginsburg/WENN.com]
TELL US – ARE THE GIUDICES GUILTY?!