News

‘Real Housewives’ stars plead not guilty in fraud case

‘Real Housewives’ stars plead not guilty in fraud case

"Real Housewives" stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice entered pleas of not guilty. Photo: Associated Press

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) – “Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice entered pleas of not guilty on Wednesday in a federal fraud case that could land them in prison for decades and see him deported to his native Italy.

The couple is accused of submitting fraudulent applications to obtain mortgages and other loans, concealing income from the reality show and failing to pay taxes.

Surrounded by court officers and private security, they entered the U.S. District Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey crowded with media and observers hoping to catch a glimpse of the reality television stars.

As captured on the reality show on Bravo Media, the couple and their four children live in a large, lavishly decorated mansion in Towaco, New Jersey and enjoy shopping sprees.

Teresa Giudice, 41, won renown in the reality television world when in the heat of an argument she overturned a dining table where the rest of the cast was sitting down for a meal.

Wearing a beige suit and her long dark hair pinned up in a neat bun for the court appearance, she did not speak. Neither did her husband, 43, clad in a dark suit with white polka dots.

At the brief hearing, federal prosecutors outlined the extensive 39-count indictment that accuses them of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, making false statements on loan applications and hiding income in a federal bankruptcy case.

Prosecutors say from 2001 until 2008, they submitted fraudulent applications to obtain mortgages and other loans. Following a bankruptcy filing in 2009, they are accused of concealing income that Teresa Giudice earned from the reality show, hiding rental income and concealing various businesses that they controlled.

Giuseppe Giudice also is accused of failing to file federal tax returns from 2004 to 2008, during which time he earned more than $996,000. An Italian citizen, he could face possible deportation if convicted.

Pretrial motions were set for September 9, and a trial date is tentatively scheduled for October 8 before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas.

Attorney Henry Klingeman, representing Teresa Giudice, said he would be seeking for his client to be judged fairly despite her celebrity status.

“I think it’s going to make it challenging to pick a jury that hasn’t formed a conclusion about her, good or bad, before trial,” the attorney said.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Shia LaBeouf has September court date

Fresh
shia

The actor's disorderly conduct case is adjourned until the fall.

in Music

Jason Aldean fan found dead after concert

aldean

The 22-year-old's body was discovered after the concert in a local landfill among trash from the stadium.

in Music

Alan Jackson lands Country Music Hall exhibit

alanjackson

Beginning on Aug. 29, fans will be able to visit the exhibition chronicling his rise to fame.

in Music

Elvis’ library card, script up for sale

elvis

A library card signed by Elvis Presley in seventh grade is expected to be among the hottest items at an auction at his Memphis mansion next month.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Jimmy Fallon & The Rock’s 80s workout video

rock

Jimmy Fallon and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson air some of their long-lost workout tapes and prove that "you've gotta hustle for the muscle."