Teresa Giudice, 41, and her husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, 43, both of Towaco, N.J, have been cast member of the reality show the “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” from its inception in 2009. Tuesday they will make another type of appearance. The New Jersey couple could do real jail time.
They have been indicted on federal charges of conspiring to defraud lenders and of hiding assets during a bankruptcy proceeding. Charges include 39 counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud and making false statements. If convicted, they could receive a 30 year sentence.
“The indictment returned today alleges the Guidices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks,” U.S. Atty. Paul J. Fishman said. “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.”
The show is produced by the Bravo network, and is intended to be representative of life and times throughout New Jersey. Their four daughters are cast members as well.
“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,” said Shantelle P. Kitchen, an IRS agent in Newark, N.J.
“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,” Kitchen said.
Charges stem from their business dealings prior to the show, during the period from 2001 until 2008.
“The Giudices falsely represented on loan applications and supporting documents that they were employed and/or receiving substantial salaries when, in fact, they were either not employed or not receiving such salaries,” the indictment alleges.
When the couple filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009, the indictment alleges, they “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. The Giudices concealed their anticipated increase in income from the then-upcoming Season Two of the Bravo television show.”
Included in the indictment are charges that Giudice failed to file tax returns from 2004 through 2008, even though he had an income of over one million dollars.
Two cast members of the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey,’ may do some real jail time. Now that’s a reality show I can live with.
Alfred James reporting