UPDATE, 8:20 AM: Real Housewives Of New Jersey stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice today pleaded not guilty to the latest fraud charges against them. In a brief arraignment in federal court in Newark, NJ this morning, the Bravo reality TV duo appeared to answer to one count of bank fraud and one count of loan application fraud. At a rare loss for outburst, neither Giudice spoke in Judge Esther Salas’s courtroom as their lawyers entered the pleas for them. With the indictments from earlier this summer, the couple now face 41 fraud counts and face decades behind bars and millions in fines if found guilty. The Giudices’ trial is set to start in February 2014. Season 6 of The Real Housewives Of NJ is expected to return in mid-2014 — with the Giuduces as part of the cast
PREVIOUSLY, MONDAY AM: Things with the federal government just got worse for Real Housewives Of New Jersey stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice. Already facing fraud, tax and bankruptcy charges that could see them behind bars for decades and paying millions in fines, the Bravo reality duo were hit with more indictments today (read them here). Already out on $500,000 bail and having surrendered their passports after a hearing in July on previous charges, the couple has been hit with two more counts of falsifying information in an effort to get a $361,250 mortgage loan.
As part of a 2005 application, Teresa said she was employed as a realtor and making $15,000 a month in wages when in at the time she was unemployed. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, the new bank fraud and loan application fraud counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. “The indictment returned today alleges the Giudices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks. 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 in a statement Monday.
The Giudices likely will plead not guilty to the new charges as they did earlier this year. Even without today’s charges, the couple is looking at more than four decades behind bars and more than $1.5 million in fines if found guilty. Their trial is scheduled to start on February 24, 2014, though that date could change with the new charges now filed. The legal battle hasn’t hurt the Giudices’ standing on The Real Housewives Of New Jersey – Teresa was the last original housewife on the show at the end of Season 5 in September, and both are set to return for the show’s sixth season.