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'Housewives' couple plead guilty to fraud in NJ



NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star and her husband face prison time after they pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal fraud charges for concealing income and lying during bankruptcy proceedings.

'Real Housewives' Star Teresa Giudice Pleads Guilty To Fraud

In contrast to their often raucous on-screen personas, Teresa and Giuseppe "Joe"stood solemnly in front of U.S. Magistrate Esther Salas in Newark, speaking in barely audible tones as they admitted engaging in financial fraud.

Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three types of bankruptcy fraud. Joe Giudice also pleaded guilty to failing to file a tax return for 2004, though he acknowledged he didn't file taxes on income of approximately $1 million between 2004 and 2008.

They had been scheduled for trial on more than 40 counts and had unsuccessfully sought separate trials.

Teresa Giudice said in a statement read by her lawyer, Henry Klingeman, that she takes responsibility "for a series of mistakes I made several years ago" and said she will make a statement to the court when the couple is sentenced on July 8.

"I will describe the choices I made, continue to take responsibility for my decisions and express my remorse to Judge Salas and the public," she wrote. "I am heartbroken that this is affecting my family - especially my four young daughters, who mean more to me than anything in the world."

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Joe Giudice faces a potential sentence of 37 to 46 months and Teresa Giudice could get 21 to 27 months, though Salas could deviate up or down from those ranges. Klingeman said after Tuesday's hearing that his client will seek probation.

Joe Giudice is an Italian citizen and could be deported upon completion of his prison term, said his attorney, Miles Feinstein. Giudice came to the U.S. as an infant and wasn't aware that he wasn't an American citizen, Feinstein said.

"It would be a grave injustice, and inhumane, for him to be deported," Feinstein said.

The couple was charged last year with exaggerating their income while applying for loans before their show debuted in 2009, then hiding their fortunes in a bankruptcy filing after their first season aired. The couple filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and claimed they owed $11 million, including $2.2 million in mortgages, $13,000 to Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom and nearly $12,000 to a fertility clinic, according to court documents.

On Tuesday, they admitted submitting fraudulent mortgage and loan applications and fabricating tax returns and W-2 forms.

Teresa Giudice has parlayed her fame into cookbooks and specialty food, drink and hair care product lines. On the show, she is known for her expensive tastes and combative relationship with her brother and sister-in-law. She has continued to work on the show while she has been under indictment and plans to continue until her sentencing, Klingeman said.

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ANGELOCOOL March 05 2014 at 8:11 AM

ITS CALLED GREED AMONG THOSE SELFISH PEOPLE WITH BIG BANK ACCOUNTS , ITS REALLY A SHAME THEY HAVE IT ALL FROM FAMILY TO FAME ,, NOW PRISON

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phill0329 March 05 2014 at 7:19 AM

They can't put these two clowns in jail fast enough. Their network (Bravo?) has basically glorified their lifestyle, and made it fashionable to be criminal. Between these people and their network, Is their a better example of what's wrong with the morals and ethics of America? This country is all about "Look at me, look at me, look at me."

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1 reply
mallibubarbieve phill0329 March 05 2014 at 7:36 AM

Bravo network does not glorify criminals. You obviously do not watch the Housewives of all the different cities on network. This court case has nothing to do with Bravo. It is reality tv. Housewives as a whole are not immoral. Ask your Mother

Flag Reply 0 rate up
popfol998 March 05 2014 at 7:13 AM

low-life losing greedy pigs. do some time

Flag Reply +1 rate up
affantiq March 05 2014 at 7:00 AM

...couldn't happen to sweeter people!......theirs is one of the stupidest TV reality programs ever..LGH

Flag Reply +1 rate up
fluke66 March 05 2014 at 6:16 AM

they should not be any better then you or i they brook the law knowing they did. if he did not know he was not a citizen when he got married he lied on that also .when the rich get in trouble with the law seems like most buy there way out . let them do time just like anyone else.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
actingstarlette March 05 2014 at 6:11 AM

If it were any one of us, we would see jail time (rightly so) they will walk away with a slap on the hand, because the justice system favors celebritys. They get more chances than the rest of us.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
wingedangel629 March 05 2014 at 6:03 AM

Not surprised when it comes to those two!!!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
frankc354 March 05 2014 at 6:00 AM

this is a clear act of living beyond your means ,trying to be some thing your not, just be your self , no jail time !!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
fay38 March 05 2014 at 5:10 AM

What a proud tradition to hand down to the family to whom they claim such devotion. Shame.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
bcrnbs2 March 05 2014 at 4:11 AM

24 to 36 months , out in 18 months or sooner, and they proablem hid a lot of that miney. so its proable a small price to pay for the millions they stole... and still will have...

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
TommyD bcrnbs2 March 05 2014 at 4:29 AM

I agree but I think when you go to federal prison you must do your entire sentence. I know that they don't have parole. One will get put away (probably Joe) and they'll allow the other to stay with the kids with probation, etc..

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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