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‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ stars Teresa and Joe Giudice indicted on fraud and tax charges July 29, 2013

Posted by jefhenninger in News.
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Teresa Giudice and her husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, both of Towaco, New Jersey and stars of Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’  were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud in a 39-count indictment. The indictment also charges Joe Giudice with failure to file tax returns for tax years 2004 through 2008, during which time he allegedly earned nearly $1 million.

Whenever a couple is indicted, the strategy is for one of them to take the fall for the other.  These are very serious charges that will carry prison time if convicted.  To make matters worse, the Government’s conviction rates on such crimes are very high.  Thus, while Teresa’s attorney may sound confident, the chances of both of them making it out of this unscathed is close to impossible.  With a 39 count indictment, the defense has to fight 39 different cases and they have to win them all.  The Government on the other hand, only has to win one of them to secure a conviction.  As a result, most of these cases end in a plea.

As the star of the show, Teresa has to be protected.  Thus, the couple’s strategy has to be that Joe will fall on the sword and take the fall for Teresa.  That assumes of course that the Government is willing to entertain such an offer.  To sweeten the pot, restitution, back taxes, penalties and fines must be paid.  This could cripple the couple financially.  However, with Teresa staying out of prison to continue to work on the show, she can help build up the couple’s fortune and/or continue to pay fines.  In fact, it may even be better if the couple cannot fully satisfy the financial aspects of the plea.  If both parties are in prison, the Government will have a tougher time getting money whereas if Teresa is out, the Government is almost guaranteed to get full restitution.

If such a deal can be pulled off, the couple should consider it a huge victory.  Teresa may have a tough time blaming everything on her husband.  It is alleged that when Teresa filed for a mortgage loan of $121,000 in 2001, she falsely claimed she worked as an executive assistant, submitting fake W-2 forms and fake paystubs as part of the ruse, the indictment said. In 2004, she allegedly claimed she was the owner of a stucco company and made $14,750 a month.  Furthermore, their defense cannot be that this was the result of hard times or a one time mistake.   The indictment alleges that in their petition for bankruptcy protection, initiated in October 2009, the couple concealed businesses they owned, rental income they received, and Teresa’s true income from the “Real Housewives,” website sales and personal appearances.  Thus, the indictment stretches a 10 year period of time where the couple continuously lies to hide their income to allegedly obtain money that they wouldn’t otherwise receive and to avoid paying that money to the IRS.

One final wrinkle in this case is that there are hundreds of hours of footage that can be used as evidence against the couple from all of the episodes of the TV show.  Bravo also has more footage that was never aired that could be obtained.  This is an attorney’s worse nightmare.  An associate will likely have to watch every single episode and note every statement or act that could be damning to the Defense’s case.

Indictment is here.

New Jersey Tax Fraud Lawyers