Teresa Giudice Fraud Trial: 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Star and Husband Joe Giudice to Escape Jail? Couple Plans to Plead Guilty
By Vanessa Francisco | March 3, 2014 7:28 PM EST
The "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars Teresa and Joe Giudice have reportedly reached a plea agreement with their prosecutors over their 41-count indictment for conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud and making false statements on a number of loan applications.
According to North Jersey reports, the Montville couple, who faces up to 50 years in prison, will appear before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark on Feb. 4 to plead guilty. This could reduce their sentence to less than two years in prison for Teresa and a minimum of three years for Joe under federal sentencing guidelines. Another report from In Touch claims that while Joe could serve a minimum of five years in jail, Teresa could escape prison time altogether with a maximum of five years probation. Teresa and Joe Giudice could also pay $11 million in restitution.
The Giudice spouses were indicted in 2013 and are now scheduled to stand trial on April 14 on charges alleging that the couple engaged in fraudulent schemes from 2001 to 2011. Joe Giudice is also charged with failing to file tax returns from 2005 to 2009 and will also plead guilty to a tax count.
Prosecutors slaim that the Giudices used fake tax returns, pay stubs and W-2 forms to inflate their income, obtaining almost $5 million in mortgages and other loans. They allegedly concealed the income they earned from the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" show and other business dealings after they filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
In November 2013, the couple pled not guilty to the charges and has been reportedly fighting since then, requesting for separate trials, which were subsequently denied. Prosecutors did not allow one defendant to plead guilty without the other. According to reports, they will appear in court next week and it is possible that the proceeding would confirm or deny their pleas during that time.
Joe Giudice is an Italian citizen and could face deportation after he serves time in jail. He is still facing charges for allegedly using false identification to obtain his driver's license in 2010, which was suspended after an intoxicated driving violation.
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