Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Teresa and Joe Guidice Admit Guilt on Mortgage, Bankruptcy Fraud Charges
Teresa and Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, the married stars of Bravo's hit TV show "Real Housewives of New Jersey," both stood quietly in federal court in Newark today and pleaded guilty to several mortgage and bankruptcy fraud charges against them.

For five seasons, their hugely popular reality show has featured supposedly wealthy cast members, including the Giudices, who've been shown spending a lot of cash freely. 

Today, both Teresa, 41, and Joe, 43, appeared humbled and somewhat glum, as they admitted to conspiring for years to defraud banks and other lending institutions while seeking nearly $5 million in construction loans, home equity loans and mortgages. They also admitted to misleading a federal bankruptcy court. After applying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2009, the Giudice's failed to disclose Teresa Giudice's true income from the "Real Housewives" show and personal and magazine appearances, and they concealed business they owned and money made from rental income.

After today's hearing, Miles Feinstein, Joe Guidice’s attorney, said it is realistic to expect that Joe Giudice will be given prison time at the couple’s July 8 sentencing, even though he said he may ask for probation.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, which are not binding on the judge, Joe Giudice is facing a recommended sentence of 37 to 46 months. 

Henry Klingeman, Teresa Giudice’s lawyer, made clear after the hearing that he will push hard for a sentence of only probation for Teresa Giudice, saying that she bears less responsibility than Joe Giudice for their decade of fraud and noting that the couple has four daughters who need to be cared for. 

Under sentencing guidelines, it is recommended that Teresa Guidice receive less than 2 1/4 years in prison.

During the 75-minute hearing, before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, both Giudices admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of bankruptcy fraud by concealment of assets, one count of bankruptcy fraud by false oaths, and one count of bankruptcy fraud by false declarations. 

Joe Giudice also pleaded guilty to one count of failure to file a tax return. 
RELATED:  Jacqueline Laurita responds to Joe and Teresa Giudice's guilty plea