Real Housewives Of New Jersey stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice today pleaded guilty to four fraud charges against them. As a part of a plea agreement with New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, the reality TV duo could face up to 2 years in jail for the mortgage and bankruptcy fraud charges when they are sentenced on July 8. Teresa will have to hand over $200,000 in July as part of her deal with the government. The Housewives cast members were first indicted last July on dozens of federal charges that potentially could have put them behind bars for decades and having to pay millions in fines. Under federal guidelines, which government lawyers have indicated they want to fully pursue, Joe Giudice now faces a potential sentence of 37 to 46 months while Teresa could get 21 to 27 months behind bars.
“I am heartbroken that this is affecting my family. Especially my four young daughters, who mean more to me than anything in the world,” said Giudice a statement after the hearing. ”I have said throughout that I respect the legal process and thus, I intend to address the court directly at sentencing. I will describe the choices I made, continue to take responsibility for my decision, and express my remorse to Judge Salas and the public.” Bravo said that they had “no statement” on the plea when I contacted them today nor if the coupe would be returning for Season 6, which will be finished or almost finished filming by the time the Giudices face sentencing. The Giudices have been on the series, the fourth in the Housewives franchise, since its first season in 2009.
The bulk of the initial 39 charges filed last year, (read them here), which the duo previously plead not guilty to, stem from false income statements on loan and mortgage documents and failure to file tax returns before the Garden State version of the reality TV franchise debuted in May 2009. More charges were added in November of last year, which the couple also plead not guilty to. The fifth season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey ended on September 29 last year with the reunion show airing in early October.