Real Housewives of New Jersey stars appear on federal fraud charges

Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:13pm EDT
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By David Jones

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - Two stars of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" were released on $500,000 bond each on Tuesday after appearing in federal court on fraud and tax evasion charges that could get one of them kicked out of the United States.

Teresa Giudice, 41, and her husband Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, 43, held hands during their appearance on a 39-count indictment at the hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Waldor.

The judge asked if they understood the charges against them and whether they realized that, if convicted, Guiseppe faces potential deportation back to Italy because he is not a U.S. citizen.

"Yes," answered Teresa Giudice, wearing a white pant suit, her typically puffy black hairdo tamed into a ponytail.

"Yes," said her husband, his tattoos covered by a dark suit with a pink shirt and peach and blue striped tie.

Prosecutors outlined a bevy of charges against the couple who star in the fifth season of the New Jersey version of the "Real Housewives" reality TV series on Bravo Media.

They are accused of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, making false statements on loan applications and hiding income in a bankruptcy case.

From September 2001 until 2008, the Giudices submitted fraudulent loan applications to obtain mortgages and other loans, according to the indictment. After filing for bankruptcy protection in 2009, prosecutors charge the couple concealed businesses they owned, income from their rental property, as well as income that Teresa received from the reality show.   Continued...