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John Sywilok

Bankruptcy, what bankruptcy?

Exactly two years after filing bankruptcy in 2009, to the tune of $11 million in debt, Joe Giudice withdrew his bankruptcy filing on Monday in a New Jersey court.

The NJ Star-Ledger was the first to break the shocking news regarding the Real Housewives of New Jersey star. So why did Joe abandon his bankruptcy bid? Well it all has to do with the accusations levied against him and his wife Teresa Giudice by their bankruptcy trustee John Sywilok.

About a year after they initially filed, the trustee accused them of hiding assets, and concealing income amongst other things. The Giudices were accused of concealing assets including three vehicles, a boat, properties in Hillside, the family pizzeria, a laundromat and apartments. Teresa was also accused of hiding income including a $250,000 advance she received for her bestselling book “Skinny Italian.”

While in court, Joe abandoned his quest to have his millions of dollars in debts forgiven in federal bankruptcy court. The Ledger reports the change of heart came after he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination during questioning by the trustee for his creditors about assets, income and business interests he is accused of hiding from the court.

The judge signed off on the settlement between Joe and the trustee. The court order reads, “The defendant Giuseppe Giudice acknowledges his desire to resolve the matter without the need for further inquiry or litigation, and without making any further admissions.”

However, the agreement signed by Joe does not apply to Teresa. Though it’s likely Teresa, who has been raking in the dough since filing bankruptcy, will end up dong the same.

So why did Joe make this decision? More than likely to avoid future criminal prosecution. Joe and Teresa were scheduled to face trial over the bankruptcy fraud leveled against them. If they had been found to be in the wrong during that trial, the next steps would have been a criminal case.

“They are really cracking down on bankruptcy fraud,” said bankruptcy lawyer Leonard C. Walczyk. “It is a real hot issue.”

So to sum this up, Joe is now responsible for millions of dollars of debt while Teresa’s bankruptcy case is still working its way through the court system. The trustee is still opposing her discharge of debt. A bankruptcy lawyer reveals Joe would still be responsible for their joint debts even if a judge absolves Teresa’s liability.

As stated, it’s likely Teresa will end up following in Joe’s footsteps, you know, if she wants to avoid criminal prosecution and/or prison.

Photo credit: Steven White / Splash News

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? SURPRISED BY THIS MOVE BY JOE?

Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 3 Teresa Giudice

The never ending legal drama for Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice continues.

Almost 2 years after filing bankruptcy to the tune of $11 million in debt, Teresa is facing the possibility that her bankruptcy filing could be overturned. Why? She is facing trial for bankruptcy fraud alongside her husband Joe Giudice.

If you recall, we reported last year that the Giudices were scheduled to go on trial July 14th. However the Giudices were able to get that date postponed last month. While New Jersey Judge Morris Stern refused to dismiss the trial, he did postpone it to October 13th… just in time for the filming of the RHONJ season 4.

The Giudices’ trustee John W. Sywilok is accusing them of concealing assets and hiding income on their bankruptcy filing. You can read all about that by clicking here. The goal of the trustee is to get the bankruptcy granted to them dismissed so that they will be responsible for all their debt. In addition to that, Teresa and Joe also have another trial scheduled for January 2012. It appears plaintiffs in that case are trying to get a judge to exclude a mortgage debt related to Joe’s dealings with his former business partner Joe Mastropole, excluded from their bankruptcy.

In other NJ news, Teresa’s sister-in-law Melissa Gorga spoke about their feud in a new interview. Melissa, 31, reveals she is willing to let bygones be bygones when it comes to her relationship, or lack thereof, with Tre. Melissa also insinuates that Teresa was only willing to make up with her because of the Bravo cameras.

“There’s definitely times where I hear her point,” Melissa told the L.A. Times “But it’s been frustrating for me because I’ve been asking her for years and years and years to fix it, to work it out with me. All of a sudden, within the last year, she was doing all the right things and saying the right things. But better now than never, I guess. I’ve been trying to get her to act this way for years. I guess I was confused: ‘Why now?’ But whatever. We’re family. I’m always willing to forgive.”

So how is their relationship today? “Right now, she’s my sister-in-law,” Melissa said. “We have kids the same age — we try, we try to work it out. And we try to be together for the family. It’s not like we’re best friends, but we’re family. I want my husband to have a relationship with his family.”

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST?

Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice In Court

More news to report in the Teresa Giudice bankruptcy saga.

Somehow this news has managed to slip through the cracks, but two days after the Ibuysss blog first broke the story, Reality Tea has uncovered some documents showing that on September 24, 2010, New Jersey Judge Morris Stern ruled that Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa and her husband Joe Giudice are required to stand trial on July 14 & 15, 2011 for charges relating to bankruptcy fraud.

The Giudices had tried to get the bankruptcy fraud allegations dismissed. If you recall, Teresa and Joe filed bankruptcy back in October 2009 to the tune of $11 million in debt. Things were working according to plan for the Giudices as Teresa even went on a $60,000 shopping spree just days after filing Chapter 7.

The problems arose however when on 06/30/2010, John W. Sywilok, the Chapter 7 Trustee assigned to oversee the Giudices bankruptcy filing, alleged they had commited bankruptcy fraud by concealing assets and income from their filing. The accusations include -

  • 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, the ownership of an online boutique called TG Fabulicious
  • Presenting false income tax returns to the bankruptcy court

From looking at the court documents, tt seems the July, 2011 court date is simply to get a judge to dismiss the Giudices’ Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition because of fraud. If the trustee does suceed in getting the bankruptcy dismissed, the Giudices would then be responsible for their $11 million debt.

We’re no legal experts here at Reality Tea but it is likely criminal charges for lying under oath, IRS fraud, etc will follow if the Giudices are found guilty of commiting bankruptcy fraud as it appears the July 2011 hearing is solely focusing on getting their bankruptcy dismissed, and not so much on the criminal aspect of the serious allegations.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS? IF THE GIUDICES DID LIE IN THEIR FILING, DO THEY DESERVE TO GO TO JAIL?

Teresa Giudice

Not that you needed any more reasons for your disgust dislike of Teresa Giudice, but we’re about to give you 60,000 more.

The NYPost is reporting today that the Real Housewives of New Jersey star celebrated being debt free by going on a $60,000 spending spree, after filing for bankruptcy to the tune of $11 million in debt back in October, 2009.

The shocker hasn’t even come yet. According to the Post, Teresa and hubby Joe Giudice blew $8,800 for curtains and nearly $45,000 on wall hangings, mirrors, frames, tables, urns and chairs, just days after filing bankruptcy. Just days folks…. Unbelievable.

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS OF TERESA’S HOME ITEMS SET FOR AUCTION!

This little tidbit came out yesterday as the morons Giudices had their attorney James Kridel file a court document with receipts that detailed the irresponsible spending, as a way to show the court that some of their auction items were purchased after their filing. The Post reports even Kridel seemed at a loss for words when trying to explain the asinine spending to Judge Morris Stern, saying he knew the documents presented “a dilemma” and that the Judge might view it as “conspicuous consumption.” Ya think?

“These were not Ikea-purchased furniture items,” Judge Stern said. “These were from high-end design stores.”

As we reported yesterday, the judge refused to stop the public auction of the Giudices home items, but postponed it to Oct. 3. Bankruptcy trustee John Sywilok, who has accused the Giudices of concealing assets, was also present during the hearing and stated that right before their bankruptcy filing, the Giudices purchased $21,000 worth of furniture and paid off a total of $11,000 of that amount just two days before filing.

And there’s more folks! While Teresa refused to comment on her irresponsible wasteful disgusting spending spree, hubby Joe, who is said to have been sweating profusely, got a little testy at the reporters. “None of your business! Back off before I get pissed!” stated an angry Joe outside of the courtroom.

And somewhere in America, an average couple is holding multiple jobs to keep a roof over their heads, feed their kids, and pay off their debt, while the Giudices get to remain debt free and live in their $5 mil mansion! Surely this has to be criminal…

UPDATE: Teresa’s lawyer James Kridel tries to explain the unbelievable spending spree she went on just days after filing bankruptcy.“That was the money she earned as an advance for her book Skinny Italian,” her attorney tells PEOPLE. “Since she earned it after the filing, she was absolutely free to spend it.”

It doesn’t end there. Kridel then tries to explain why Teresa needed to buy $60,000 worth of furniture while also acknowledging just how incredibly awful and disgusting this makes his client look. “She needed to re-buy furniture because she didn’t have any furniture in the house,” says Kridel. “It’s a big house and she wanted furniture consistent with her style on the show. There is nothing wrong with doing that, except that it doesn’t look good for her to be doing it.” No Kridel, it doesn’t, not by a long shot.

Must say it’s quite interesting that Teresa managed to receive her book advance just a few days after filing bankruptcy.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS LATEST DEVELOPMENT? ARE YOU OUTRAGED?

We said a while back that you couldn’t make these things up, and folks you simply can’t when it comes to the Bravo housewives. Just a week after showing off her lavish unaffordable mansion in InTouch Weekly, Teresa Giudice’s luxurious home items have now been officially listed on an auction website to be auctioned off on August 22nd.

The website, A.J.Willner Auctions, specializes in auctioning off home items of the rich and morally bankrupt aka Teresa and hubby Joe Giudice. The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars, who can been seen bragging about their lavish lifestyle on the show, filed bankruptcy to the tune of $11 mil in debt back in October 2009.

And not only does the site list Teresa home address, and a time for the auction, 12:00pm for those interested in stopping by, it also posts the photos of items set for auction from Teresa’s home. Oddly enough, a lot of the items pictured, including Teresa’s stainless steel gas range, flat screen TV, and crest leather & fabric sofas, were all featured in her InTouch magazine home spread.

Other items of Teresa’s that are being auctioned off?

  • Schaefer & Sons Grand Piano
  • Wolf 48″ Stainless Steel Gas Range
  • 1080 Pure 42″ LCD Television
  • Chippendale Style Arm Chair & Pair of Oversized Candle Sticks
  • Round Pine Kitchen Table & 8 Upholstered Tudor Style Chairs
  • Panasonic Viera Oversized LCD Television
  • Dark Finish King Size Bedroom Set
  • Love Seat, Upholstered Arm Chairs & Area Rug
  • Connelly Antique Style Pool Table
  • Faux Marble Chess Set

Yes, even the bed Teresa sleeps on will be auctioned off. Not sure if it gets any more humiliating than that. Unfortunately for the Giudices, their problems have only just began.

As we reported last week, Teresa and Joe are now being accused of perjury by their bankruptcy trustee John Sywilok, whose responsibility is to round up the Giudices’ assets and distribute the proceeds to creditors.

John alleges in court documents dated June 30 that the couple failed to list profits from several business, including Teresa’s clothing line TG Fabulicious LLC, a pizza parlor (which was shown in the most recent episode of Real Housewives) and her cookbook, Skinny Italian, which he claims was written prior to the bankruptcy filing.

The Wall Street Journal also reveals the Giudices are accused of undervaluing some of their luxury items in their bankruptcy filing, including a pool table ($1,000), wedding bands ($400) and living room furniture ($2,000). Like anyone would believe their wedding bands cost $400.

Jim Kridel, an attorney for the Giudices, however tells PEOPLE his clients are innocent of any wrong doing and he plans to object to the filing in court, saying they did not hide sources of income.

“The contract for Teresa’s book was signed after the bankruptcy petition was filed, and all money was received post petition,” he says, adding that the Giudices are legally allowed to freely spend money earned after filing bankruptcy. “If she knew the recipes, it doesn’t take four years to write a cook book,” he says. “It’s not a Mary Higgins Clark novel.”

As for the pizzeria, Kridel claims it is owned by Joe’s father, and therefore should have never been considered an asset at the time of the filing. What’s interesting is that Teresa said during last episode of the NJ Housewives that Joe owned the pizza parlour.

And when it comes to the book fiasco, Teresa is likely lying about that as well, because Teresa wrote in one of her Bravo blogs back in June that her book, Skinny Italian, went to press before Bethenny Frankel’s book, The Skinnygirl Dish, came out. This was Teresa’s attempts at fending off rumors that she copied Bethenny’s book.

So let’s dig a little more into this. Bethenny’s book came out December, 29, 2009 according to Amazon. Teresa filed for Bankruptcy on October 29, 2009. So according to Teresa, she signed the contract for her book, finished writing the book, and was able to get it to press, all within a 2 month span?! Well, we call BS and say it’s highly impossible unlikely. Plus one also has to wonder if Teresa is being made fully aware of her financial troubles. Showing off her home in a national magazine two weeks after their trustee filed documents to auction off her home items just seems surreal and downright moronic, but then again…

TELL US: DO YOU FEEL BAD FOR TERESA & JOE? WILL YOU BE ATTENDING THE AUCTION?

UPDATE - It seems the items listed on the auction website are only the featured items of the auction. A whole lot more of Teresa’s home items will also be auctioned off including all of the beds of her kids, all of the TVs in the kids’ bedrooms, toys, games, books, and even some of her baby’s items including the crib and rocker. Even her refrigerators and jewelry will be auctioned off.

Other items include the kids’ bikes, Gia’s ATV that was given to her on the show for her birthday, and also a boat owned by the Giudices. Poor kids. You can see the full list of auction items by clicking here. Thanks to our reader Anita Vacation for the link.

UPDATE #2 – More photos of Teresa’s home items to be auctioned off have been added.

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS OF TERESA’S HOME ITEMS SET TO BE AUCTIONED OFF -

They say when it rains it pours, and when it comes to the financial troubles of Teresa Giudice, it seems to be storming.

First news came out that the Real Housewives of New Jersey star and her husband Joe Giudice filed for bankruptcy last October to the tune of $11 million in debt. Then the NYPost also reported the Giudices’ finances was being investigated by the IRS. News of a $1 million fraud/forgery lawsuit against Joe by his ex-business partner also made headlines.

Fast forward to today and there is now a new story from Zap2It, via the Wall Street Journal, stating the Giudices are being investigated for concealing some of their assets during their bankruptcy filing.

The accusation comes directly from their Chapter 7 trustee John Sywilok, who is responsible for rounding up the couple’s assets in order to distribute payments to their creditors. Sywilok is investigating them for concealing income and assets.

They alleged assets & income concealed include:

  • Interests in a pizza parlor and Laundromat,
  • Teresa’s TG Fabulicious clothing and accessories company, and
  • Teresa’s “Skinny Italian” cookbook, which is a New York Times bestseller

Sywilok also accuses the couple of making false statements under oath about their assets, income and expenses. Perhaps some of our readers knowledgeable in law can comment on the seriousness of this accusation. Is it right up there with tax evasion?

But the financial troubles still doesn’t end there for Teresa and Joe. While Teresa continues to try to convince us her home is safe, despite the fact that it was publicly listed for sale last month, albeit briefly, it seems the contents of her home might be in serious jeopardy.

The trustee is also trying to hold a public auction for the contents of the Giudices $1.7 $5 million NJ mansion, which happens to be the home they live in.

The auction has already been set for August 22, and up for grabs will be the couple’s home furnishings, accessories, tools and a boat.

Ironically enough, Teresa, who might or might not be completely out of touch with reality, is in this week’s issue of InTouch magazine showing off her home. Teresa tells the mag, “We had our house built with nothing but marble, granite and onyx.” She adds,“I don’t think you can ever have too much of that. I could’ve had even more.” And folks, we simply can’t make this up.

TELL US: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS STORY? DO YOU FEEL BAD FOR THE GIUDICES OR DO THEY HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THEMSELVES?

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