Teresa and Joe Giudice allegedly made false claims about their employment status and salaries.
This was not in the script.
Two stars of the Bravo television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” were indicted Monday on federal fraud charges.
Teresa Giudice, 41, and her husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, 43, were accused of exaggerating their income while applying for loans before their TV show debuted in 2009 — then hiding how well they were doing in a bankruptcy filing after their first season aired.
DAVE KOTINSKY/GETTY IMAGES
Teresa Giudice poses outside of her New Jersey abode in 2011.
The combustible couple, who live in Montville Township, were charged in a 39-count indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud. Each faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
“Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when dealing with the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. “That’s reality.”
Exterior view of Teresa Giudice’s home in New Jersey.
Teresa Giudice, who is one of the five titular housewives whose lavish lifestyles and crass behavior are chronicled in a series now in its fifth season, released a statement through her lawyer soon after the news broke.
“Today is a most difficult day for our family,” she said. “I support Joe and, as a wonderful husband and father, I know he wants only the best for our lovely daughters and me. 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.”
There was no immediate comment from Bravo about the plight of the Jersey girl and the couple’s lawyers — each has their own — did not return phone calls for comment.
JOE EPSTEIN FOR THE STAR-LEDGER
Teresa and Joe Giudice pictured leaving the Federal Court House in Newark following a bankruptcy hearing in 2010.
But expect cameras aplenty when the Giudice’s appear inb federal court in Newark Tuesday to face the music.
According to the indictment, they submitted fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications from 2001 through 2008, a year before their show made its debut on Bravo.
Teresa Giudice has not been shy about her preference for living a lavish lifestyle.
“The indictment returned today alleges the Giudices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks,” Fishman said.
Joe Giudice failed to file tax returns for the years 2004 through 2008, when he is alleged to have earned nearly $1 million.
And when his wife filed for a mortgage loan of $121,000 in 2001, she falsely claimed she worked as an executive assistant, submitted fake W-2 forms and fake paystubs as part of the ruse, the indictment said.
In their October 2009 petition for bankruptcy protection, the couple concealed businesses they owned, rental income they received, and Teresa Giudice’s true income from the “Real Housewives,” the indictment states.
Teresa Giudice’s troubles aren’t likely to cause any of her caustic castmates to shed any tears.
Manipulative and loud, she has become the villain of the quintet — a group that included at one point sisters Dina and Caroline Manzo, whose father-in-law, Albert (Tiny) Manzo was executed mob style in August 1983.