Teresa Giudice, 41, and her husband, Giuseppe - or Joe -
Giudice, 43, face prison sentences and fines after pleading
guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas in federal
court in Newark.
Prosecutors said Teresa faces up to 27 months in prison, while
her husband faces up to nearly four years, and possible
deportation, because he is an Italian citizen.
The Giudices have appeared in five seasons of the reality show
on the Bravo channel, where they reveled in their luxury
lifestyle and spent lavishly on their children and themselves.
In the first episode, Teresa Giudice paid $120,000 in cash to
furnish a room in their house styled after a French chateau.
The husband and wife, of Towaco, New Jersey, each pleaded guilty
to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and to three counts
of bankruptcy fraud.
"Today I took responsibility for a series of mistakes I made
several years ago," Teresa Giudice said in a statement read by
her attorney, Henry Klingeman. "I am heartbroken that this is
affecting my family, especially my four young daughters, who
mean more to me than anything in the world."
Under the plea deals, the Giudices must forfeit money that they
obtained in the frauds, and that amount will be decided at
sentencing, which is scheduled for July 8. Teresa Giudice also
will be required to pay $200,000 at sentencing.
Her husband pleaded guilty as well to failure to file tax
returns on income totaling nearly $1 million.
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"Teresa and Giuseppe Giudice used deception and fraud to cheat
banks, bankruptcy court and the IRS," said U.S. Attorney Paul
In their plea deals, the couple admitted that from 2001 through
2008, they submitted fraudulent applications for mortgages and other
loans, falsely claiming to have substantial salaries.
In September 2001, Teresa Giudice applied for a $121,500 mortgage by
falsely claiming she worked as an executive assistant and submitting
fake W-2 forms and fake pay stubs, prosecutors said.
In 2005, for a $361,250 mortgage, she falsely claimed to be working
as a real estate agent making $15,000 a month, when in truth she was
unemployed, they said.
In 2009, they filed for bankruptcy protection, concealing businesses
they owned, income from rental property, and Teresa Giudice's income
from the "Housewives" show, prosecutors said.
The couple had faced some 41 criminal counts in indictments handed
down last year, with the possibility of some 175 years in prison.
(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Gunna
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