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NJ Housewives Star Theresa Guidice and Husband Indicted by Federal Grand Jury

Carolyne Volpe Curley

Monday, July 29, 2013 • 2:08pm


Updated Aug. 10, 2013

NEWARK, NJ - Monday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment on two of the stars of the Bravo television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey:” Teresa Giudice, 41, and her husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, 43. The charges of conspiracy to defraud lenders and illegally obtain mortgages and other loans while allegedly hiding assets and income stem from their well-known bankruptcy case. The Giudices are residents of Towaco, in Montville Township, and are frequent visitors to the West Essex area for shopping and dining. The couple has four daughters.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Monday that the couple were charged in a 39-count indictment with:
 
  • Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud
     
  • Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud
     
  • Making False Statements on Loan Applications
     
  • Bankruptcy Fraud
     
  • Failure to File Tax Returns
The original indictment is available online here.
 
Public Statement
Monday afternoon, Teresa Giudice released the following statement: "Today is a most difficult day for our family. I support Joe and, as a wonderful husband and father, I know he wants only the best for our lovely daughters and me. I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career. As a result, I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the Government as quickly as possible. Thank you all for your kind wishes, prayers and support."

Chronology ~ 2001 until 2010
It’s alleged that Teresa and Joe engaged in a mail and wire fraud conspiracy, along with bank fraud and loan application fraud, when they submitted fraudulent mortgage and loan applications - along with supporting documents to lenders in an effort to obtain over $4.9 million in mortgages and loans.
 
  • Sept. 2001
    The couple reportedly falsely attested to being employed with substantial salaries when, in fact, they were either not employed or not receiving such salaries. Teresa Giudice allegedly claimed on a $121,500 mortgage loan that she was employed as an Executive Assistant. The prosecutor is affirming that she submitted with that application fake W-2 forms and pay stubs which were supposedly issued by her employee.
     
  • 2004 to 2008
    During tax years 2004 through 2008, the indictment alleges that Joe Giudice received income totaling $996,459, but he did not, however, file any tax returns.
     
  • Oct. 2009
    The Housewives of New Jersey debuted on May 12, 2009 on the Bravo network. The Giudices filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Newark in October of that same year and filed further amendments over the following months. During this time period, they were required to disclose their assets, liabilities, income, and any anticipated increase in income. The indictment alleges that the Giudices intentionally concealed income from businesses they owned, rental property income and Teresa’s actual income from season one of "Housewives.” In addition, Teresa was also reportedly receiving income from website sales, and personal appearances. The couple allegedly also concealed their anticipated increase in income for season two of the Bravo show.

Teresa and Joe Giudice  Credit: Bravo TV

Maximum Potential Penalties
  • Bank fraud
    • 30 years in prison
    • $1 million fine
       
  • Loan application fraud
    • 30 years in prison 
    • $1 million fine
       
  • Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud
    • 20 years of in prison 
    • $250,000 fine
       
  • Bankruptcy fraud
    • 5 years in prison
    • $250,000 fine
       
  • Failure to file a tax return
    • 1 year in prison 
    • $100,000 fine 
“The indictment returned today alleges the Guidices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks,” Fishman commented. “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.”

Investigative Offices
The investigation which led to today’s indictment included special agents from the following offices:
 
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 
     
  • New York’s Office of Inspector General
    Special Agent in Charge A. Derek Evans 
     
  • IRS-Criminal Investigation
    Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen 
     
  • U.S. Trustee Roberta DeAngelis
Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Newark division commented: "The privilege of living well in the United States carries certain real responsibilities, including filing tax returns when required and paying the correct amount of tax. Today’s indictment alleges the Giudices did not live up to their responsibilities by failing to file tax returns, falsifying loan applications and concealing assets in their bankruptcy petition. The reality is that this type of criminal conduct will not go undetected and individuals who engage in this type of financial fraud should know they will be held accountable.”

Counsel:
  • Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan W. Romankow and Rachael Honig are representing the US Government 
     
  • Miles Feinstein Esq., of Paterson, is representing Joe Giudice
     
  • Henry E. Klingeman Esq., of Newark is representing Teresa Giudice. 
Initial Court Appearance and Bail
The indictment attests that a federal grand believed that there was enough evidence presented by the prosecutor to move forward with the case against the couple. The defendants made their initial court appearances at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 30, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.

Romankow went through the list of 39 charges against the Towaco couple and stated that, because Joe Giudice is a citizen of Italy, he would likely be deported if convicted. Walder set bail for the couple at $500,000 each. In addition, the Giudice's were made to hand in their passports and Walder then restricted their travel to New York and New Jersey only. 


Public Statements Following Court Appearance
Following the court appearance, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman commented that his office is confident that they have enough evidence to convict the defendants "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Henry Klingeman, the lawyer representing Teresa Giudice, commented after the court meeting that he encouraged his client to continue participating in her reality show: “It’s a source of passion for her and a source of support for her kids."

Through her Twitter account, Teresa Giudice herself put out a public statement: “Today is a most difficult day for our family. I support Joe and, as a wonderful husband and father, I know he wants only the best for our lovely daughters and me. I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career. As a result, I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the Government as quickly as possible. Thank you for all your kind wishes, prayers and support."



Arraignment 

The Giudices will next appear in court on Wednesday, Aug. 14 to be arraigned before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas. At that time, each defendant will enter a formal plea and the judge will determine a trial date. Lawyers for both defendants have publicly stated that the couple will each plead not guilty to the counts against them. 

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