The court system never fails to boggle my mind. Yesterday Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice faced the judge to plead guilty to charges of fraud. The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars pled guilty to a miniscule amount of charges out of the 41 total that they were facing and their jail time could be short and sweet, depending on the judge's mood come July.
The Giudice's plea deals hit the court site yesterday and Tamara Tattles broke it down in simple terms. We've got some of the highlights for you, but for the full read, see TT!
Teresa's terms. First, she's pleading guilty to only 4 of the 41 charges she was indicted on. The feds agree in the plea deal to agree to drop charges 2-14, 16-21 and 26-35. The counts that stand are as follows:
Count 1: Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud - Max 20 years/ $250K Fine
Count 15 : Bankruptcy Fraud- Concealment – Max 5 years./ $250K Fine
Count 23 : Bankruptcy Fraud- False Oaths - Max 5 years./ $250K Fine
Count 36: Failure to make a Tax Return - Max 5 years./ $250K Fine
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Teresa is agreeing to pay back $200,000 back to the IRS before July 8, 2014 as partial satisfaction of her debt. She also has to re-file all tax returns from 2000 through 2011 and has to make payments for all affected tax years before her sentencing date. If she's unable to pay it all, she has to set up a payment plan with the IRS.
And then there's the "point system" that determines how much time Teresa might get. It's looking like less than two years, but there's still a chance she won't serve any in the prison if her lawyer can get her the "mommy out" aka "Family Ties and Responsibilities." Tamara explains this in a way that's easy to grasp. Go here for that.
As for Joe's plea deal terms, he'll face only 5 of the 41 original counts.
Count 1: CONSPIRACY to commit mail and wire fraud Max - 20 Years /$250K fine
Count 15: Concealment of Assets – Max 5 Years /$250K fine
Count 22: False Oaths – Max 5 Years /$250K fine
Count 36: False Declarations – Max 5 Years/$250K fine
Count 37: Failure to File Income Tax - Max 1 Year/$25K fine
It's completely unlikely that Joe will be deported. That's usually only happens for drug related felonies or someone who's a danger (murderers, etc).
Teresa's plea deal is fairly straight forward and she's facing a total of 35 years, but if the judge agrees to the terms, it could be less than two (or none depending on the family thing). Joe's is a little iffy because he has a previous record and so he might see more time because of that, but not a considerable amount. For an explanation of his points and how that affects his prison time, read here. Joe's charges carry a total max of 36 years, but will likely do between 3 and 4 years with no deportation, depending on the judge's final decision in July.
So, that's it so far. A million thanks to Tamara for spelling it out for us and letting me nurse my migraine away from legal documents today…
P.S. Our development team is going to make it possible for us to upload legal docs on the site so we can share them with you in the future. I know some of you would rather read it for yourselves while others like the quick and dirty explanation without the legal mumbo jumbo. So, we're trying to make both groups happy campers.
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