‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ stars Teresa Giudice, 41, and Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Giudice, 43, both of Towaco, N.J., have each pleaded guilty in federal court in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme they perpetrated from September 2001 through September 2008.
More specifically, the Giudices each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of bankruptcy fraud by concealment of assets, one count of bankruptcy fraud by false oaths, and one count of bankruptcy fraud by false declarations, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. In addition, Giuseppe Giudice pleaded guilty to one count of failure to file a tax return.
According to the DOJ, the Giudices engaged in a mail and wire fraud conspiracy in which they submitted fraudulent applications and supporting documents to lenders in order to obtain mortgages and other loans. This included falsely reporting that they were employed and/or receiving substantial salaries when they were either not employed or not receiving such salaries – classically known in the mortgage world as income fraud.
Federal officials allege that in September 2001, Teresa Giudice applied for a $121,500 mortgage loan and falsely claimed on the application that she was employed as an executive assistant. She also submitted fake W-2 forms and fake pay stubs purportedly issued by her employer.
For a $361,250 mortgage loan that Teresa Giudice obtained in July 2005, she and Giuseppe Giudice prepared a loan application that falsely stated she was employed as a realtor and that she made a monthly salary of $15,000. In reality, Teresa Giudice was not employed at the time, officials said in the release.
The Giudices also admitted to bank fraud and loan application fraud in the course of obtaining loans from several banks, according to the DOJ.
Also, when the couple filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009, they intentionally concealed businesses they owned, income they received from a rental property, and Teresa Giudice's true income from the television show "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," website sales, and personal and magazine appearances, according to the release. They also concealed the anticipated increase in their income from the then-upcoming second season of the show.
Giuseppe Giudice also admitted that during tax years 2004 through 2008, he received income totaling $996,459 but did not file tax returns for those years.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
The couple now faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. What's more, Teresa Giudice's plea agreement requires her to pay $200,000 to the government at the time of sentencing, which is scheduled for July 8.
The plea agreements also require the Giudices – who were indicted in July 2013 – to forfeit the money they obtained via conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud, in an amount to be determined by the court at sentencing.
‘Teresa and Giuseppe Giudice used deception and fraud to cheat banks, bankruptcy court and the IRS,’ said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, in the release. ‘With their guilty pleas, they admitted the schemes with which they were charged. Having now confessed their wrongdoing, the Giudices face the real cost of their criminal conduct.’
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