'Real Housewives' stars indicted on bankruptcy, fraud, tax charges

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com  |  July 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM
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Two of the stars of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" are in trouble in real life.

Teresa Giudice and her husband, Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, were indicted on 39 counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.

The charges were handed down by a federal grand jury. In addition to the fraud charges, Giuseppe Giudice was hit with separate charges for failing to file federal income tax returns from 2004 to 2008.

The Giudices allegedly engaged in a mail and wire fraud conspiracy beginning in 2001, according to the indictment. They submitted fraudulent applications for mortgages and other loans, and supporting documents to obtain the loans.

They also reported much higher incomes than either of them was earning. As part of the scheme, Teresa Giudice allegedly submitted fake W-2 forms and pay stubs to lenders.

In 2007, the couple filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, showing they owed more than $10 million. In the petition, they claimed more than $2.2 million in real property, but said the claims against those properties exceeded the value.

In at least one instance, the Giudices had four mortgages on one property with claims totaling more than $2.5 million. They said their personal property was worth $24,150 including the family's high-end wardrobe listed at just $3,000 and Teresa's "costume" jewelry at $750.

They also did not indicate employment in the 2009 bankruptcy petition, despite Teresa listing herself as "unemployed" during the airing of "Housewives." She also did not indicate future employment, even after signing a contract for the show's second season.

Henry Klingeman, an attorney for Teresa Giudice, said that she will plead not guilty.

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