Giudice couple from “Real Housewives of New Jersey” reach plea deal

It couldn’t have been staged any better for the show if they tried. Reality star Teresa Giudice and her husband admitted on Tues., March 4, 2014, to four counts of fraud in a plea deal. Both Giudices face the possibility of serving time in jail in the near future.

However, like any successful reality show stars, the couple plan to feature their legal troubles as part of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” television series. Fans needn’t worry, as the Giudices plan to keep filming up until they are sentenced on fraud charges this summer, according to Newser.

Admitting the guilt

Part of the decision to admit their guilty was the hope that Teresa might be able to serve out her time at home where she is mother to four young daughters. Sentencing for the couple is set for July 8, 2014, and despite their hopes, Teresa could face as much as 27 months in federal prison, while her husband could serve as long as 46 months. Even more serious is the potential for deportation for Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, due to his Italian citizenship, once he has served out his time in prison.

The couple admitted to three counts of bankruptcy fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, according to People magazine. The couple changed their plea before the U.S. District Court in Newark, after initially pleading “not guilty.”

No chance for separate trials

At first, the couple had requested separate trials, with the hope that Teresa might escape prosecution. However, according to CBS News, the prosecutors demanded a “package deal” that would require both of the couple to admit their wrongdoing. Teresa eventually admitted her role in the fraud.

“Today I took responsibility for a series of mistakes I made several years ago,” noted Teresa Giudice this past Tuesday. She also agreed to pay some $200,000 at the time of her sentencing. Both of the couple will forfeit yet more cash later (the amount to be determined later by Judge Esther Salas).

Charges against the Giudices

Last year, the reality show couple were indicted “on 41 counts, ranging from bankruptcy and loan application fraud to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud,” according to CBS News. The actions took place over a 10-year period, from 2001 to 2011. Joe Giudice is also faced with separate charges for failing to file tax returns for four years, thus failing to declare some $1 million in earnings.

The couple used fraudulent tax forms, W-2s and other documents to obtain nearly $5 million in loans and mortgages. Ironically, they also failed to declare some income from the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” show, when filing for bankruptcy in 2009.

Impact on the kids

The “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star noted that she was “heartbroken that this is affecting my family.” Obviously Teresa Giudice is concerned for her daughters (who range in age from 4 to 13) who “mean more to me than anything in the world,” the Bravo network star noted.

It seems that reality just got a whole lot more real.