The 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' star will plead not guilty to lying to the bankruptcy court, a number of banks and the IRS.
Teresa Giudice breaks her silence after she and her husband, Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, are charged with major bankruptcy, fraud and tax crimes. "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," she begins her statement.
The star of Bravo's reality TV series "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" continues, "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."
The couple hasn't been arrested. They are due in court Tuesday, July 30. Lawyer Henry Klingeman says, "Teresa will plead 'not guilty.' The judicial process that begins today with an indictment is a search for the truth. As it moves forward, we look forward to vindicating her." Bravo has "no comment" when asked about the matter.
They are indicted on 39 counts of "conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud." They are accused of exaggerating their income when applying for loans prior to their 2009 debut on the Bravo show, and concealing how well they were doing when filing for bankruptcy a year later.
The indictment also alleges that Giuseppe failed to file tax returns from 2004 through 2008 during which he collected income totaling almost a million dollars. He is charged with five separate counts of tax evasion as a result.
"The indictment returned today alleges the Guidices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks," U.S. attorney Paul J. Fishman says. "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 couple could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The bank fraud and loan application fraud counts, meanwhile, each carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
They could additionally face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine in the bankruptcy fraud case, and could receive a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted of avoiding a tax return.
Another "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Melissa Gorga and her husband Joe Gorga, who is Teresa's brother, were also entangled in financial trouble for "portraying a life they that they really didn't live prior to the show." Last year, the couple was reported owing $2.25 million in mortgage. They took out the loan in 2007 to refinance their house.
While sister-in-law Teresa filed for bankruptcy, Melissa opted to sell her properties to solve her problem. They put the house which they took out the mortgage loan for on the market, and sold their Montville Township mansion.