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Reality stars facing federal fraud charges

Missouri fans of the television show "Real Housewives of New Jersey" may have heard that a couple featured on the program face a different kind of reality if they are convicted on 41 federal charges against them. Teresa and Joe Giudice were recently indicted by a grand jury for bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud and making false statements on loan applications. If convicted of the charges, they each could be hit with $1 million in fines and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The Giudices are alleged to have created fake documents and provided false information on applications in order to receive more than $5 million in loans over an eight-year span. Both have entered innocent pleas to 39 of the charges and are expected in court to enter pleas on two new counts centering on a $361,250 mortgage loan that Teresa Giudice was granted in 2005.

The couple is accused of applying for loans using a fake employment history for Teresa and thus giving a misleadingly large amount for their combined income. They also are alleged to have left off business and rental income after they filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. Additionally, Joe Giudice has been charged with not filing a tax return from 2004 until 2008, when he was said to have earned almost $1 million.

White collar crimes such as bank fraud or embezzlement can result in significant penalties. Individuals alleged to have committed such acts may find the services of a criminal law attorney to be helpful in preparing a defense.

Source: CNN, "'Real Housewives' stars Teresa and Joe Giudice face new fraud charges", Alan Duke, November 19, 2013

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