Joe and Teresa Giudice Indicted on Money Fraud; Teresa Says “Nothing About Melissa’s Marriage Has Ever Come Out of My Mouth” (Updated 11/18/2013)
UPDATE 11/18/2013: On November 18, 2013, the federal government added two more counts to the 39-count indictment against the Giudices which was handed down on July 29, 2013. According to the indictment, the Giudices fraudulently obtained $5 million from mortgage loans, withdrawals from home equity lines of credit, and construction loans from 2001 to 2009 and failed to file tax returns for about $1 million in income from 2004 through 2008 (they are charged with mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud and loan application fraud). According to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman:
“The two additional counts stem from a $361,250 mortgage loan that Teresa Giudice obtained in July 2005. In the course of obtaining the loan, she and Giuseppe Giudice prepared a loan application which falsely stated that Teresa Giudice was employed as a realtor and that she had a monthly salary of $15,000. Teresa Giudice was not employed outside the home at the time.”
Click here to read details about their bankruptcy and federal indictment on money fraud.
July 29, 2013
Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice — who have been plagued with financial problems for years — were indicted on fraud and tax charges on Monday, July 29. In his 39-count indictment, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman charged the Bravo reality stars with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.
“Today is a most difficult day for our family. I support Joe and, as a wonderful husband and father, I know he wants only the best for our lovely daughters and me,” Teresa tells Us Weekly in a statement. “I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career. As a result, I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the government as quickly as possible.”
The indictment also charges Joe with failure to file tax returns from 2004 through 2008, during which time he allegedly earned nearly $1 million.
“The indictment returned today alleges the Giudices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks,” Fishman said in a statement. “Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when dealing with the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages. That’s reality.”
Garden State natives Teresa, 41, and Joe, 43, are parents to daughters Gia (born 2001), Gabriella (born 2004), Milania (born 2005) and Audriana (born 2009). Teresa, who has authored several cookbooks, began appearing on The Real Housewives of New Jersey when the series — now in its fifth season — premiered in 2009.
“The privilege of living well in the United States carries certain real responsibilities, including filing tax returns when required and paying the correct amount of tax,” Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office, said. “Today’s indictment alleges the Giudices did not live up to their responsibilities by failing to file tax returns, falsifying loan applications and concealing assets in their bankruptcy petition. The reality is that this type of criminal conduct will not go undetected and individuals who engage in this type of financial fraud should know they will be held accountable.”
Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, while bank fraud carries a maximum of 30 years. The remaining charges could result in more prison time — not to mention the hefty fines associated with each penalty.
The Giudices are scheduled to appear before Judge Cathy Waldor at the United States District Court in Newark, New Jersey, on Tuesday, July 30. A rep for Bravo had no comment when contacted by Us.
Teresa’s attorney, Henry Klingeman, tells Us:
“Teresa will plead ‘not guilty.’ The judicial process that begins today with an indictment is a search for the truth. As it moves forward, we look forward to vindicating her.”
Joe, a former pizza parlor owner, also faces 10 years behind bars for allegedly using his brother’s ID to obtain a driver’s license in 2010; he will appear in court on Oct. 28.
“Joe maintains his innocence,” his attorney, Miles Feinstein, tells Us Weekly in its July 29 issue. “It will be tough to choose a jury because of the high-profile defendant.”
July 29, 2013
Authorities, citing the indictment, said that between September 2001 and September 2008, Giuseppe and Teresa Giudice, both of Towaco, allegedly committed mail and wire fraud conspiracy by giving lenders fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications and supporting documents in an effort to obtain mortgages and other loans.
In addition, the Giudices falsely represented on loan applications and supporting documents that they were employed and/or taking home substantial salaries when, in fact, they either were not employed or were not receiving such salaries, authorities said of the indictment’s allegations.
For example, authorities said, in September 2001, Teresa Giudice applied for a mortgage loan of $121,500 for which she submitted a loan application that falsely stated she was employed as an executive assistant. She also turned in phony W-2 Forms and fake pay-stubs purportedly issued by her employer, authorities said.
The indictment also points to specific instances of the Giudices allegedly committing bank fraud and loan application fraud in the course of securing loans from several banks, authorities said.
On Oct. 29, 2009, the Giudices filed a petition for individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark, authorities said. Then during the next few months, they filed several amendments to the bankruptcy petition.
But as part of the bankruptcy filings, the Giudices were required to disclose to the United States Trustee, among other things, assets, liabilities, income, and any anticipated increase in income, authorities said. But the indictment alleges that the Giudices intentionally concealed businesses they owned, income they received from a rental property, and Teresa Giudice’s true income from the television show “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” website sales, and personal and magazine appearances, authorities said.
In addition, the Giudices allegedly hid an anticipated increase in income they expected to get from the then-upcoming Season Two of the “Real Housewives” show.
The Giudices are charged with multiple counts of bankruptcy fraud for concealing and making false oaths and declarations about assets and income during their bankruptcy case, authorities said.
The indictment also contends that during the tax years 2004 to 2008, Giuseppe Giudice received $996,459 in income, but failed to file tax returns for those years, according to authorities.
The conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud counts brought against the Giudices carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years of in prison, authorities said. The bank fraud and loan application fraud counts each carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, Fishman’s office added. The bankruptcy fraud counts each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, authorities also said. And the failure to file a tax return counts against Giuseppe Giudice each carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison, they added.
The following is Teresa’s Bravo blog for season 5 episode 9.
Not Threatening Melissa
By Teresa Giudice
July 29, 2013
Teresa explains where she was coming from in her previous blog post.
What did you think of the Miracle at St. George? I think I haven’t cried that much in my whole life. I cried all over again watching it. All this nonsense about our family not getting along for 10 years just isn’t true. You can tell from how we were at the end of the episode — cooking and laughing and enjoying each other like close families do. I wish I could have had every one of you in the room with us to feel the love. You deserve it after watching our darkest moments! Thank you all so much for keeping the faith in my family!
I have called Melissa directly to talk about this, because like Dr. V said, I want to keep the communication lines open, but I wanted you all to know as well: I never meant to sound like I was threatening her in my last blog. I was very shocked and upset to watch the episode and see Melissa talking about my marriage and my products — two things I work really hard at and am really proud of! We don’t know what other people say about us when we’re not around until we watch the show, and it is hard, like opening up an old wound.
A few weeks ago, before the episode with the two of us meeting aired, Rosie called me to say that she was sorry for some of the things she had said, to warn me it might be ugly, and to make sure we were still good. That felt amazing, and made it so much easier to watch the episode because I know she didn’t mean it and truly cared about me. If Melissa had given me the same heads up, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been so angry in my blog. I’m human, I’m not perfect, and her comments hurt.
We did end the season in a really good place, so I was very surprised when Melissa’s first blog came out and bashed me. Even though we were watching an old place we’d been in, I wanted to keep the peace going in our blogs. Instead of retaliating or getting into a place of tit-for-tat, I called Melissa immediately. I told her I was confused and upset by her blog since we were in a better place. She told me to “get over it.” I suggested we both keep our blogs positive, but she said she was going write about how she felt at the time, and that I could do whatever I wanted. I chose to stay positive until the marriage comment. I finally broke down, and I’m sorry for that.
But me saying last week that Melissa was “lucky” I didn’t spread lies about her marriage like she did about mine, was simply that: I haven’t, wouldn’t, and won’t. It wasn’t a threat that I was going to expose something about her, and I’m sorry she took it that way. I was trying to explain my disbelief and devastation that the same person who has claimed for years I was trying to break up her marriage, when nothing about her marriage has ever come out of my mouth, actually said those horrible lies about mine. For a family member to say that is truly terrible, because it plants a seed that maybe they know something other people don’t. Melissa might have no problem doing that to me, but I wanted to explain that I would never do that to her. She is my family, and I would never want my nieces or my daughters to hear something untrue and hurtful about her marriage.
I wish she had the same courtesy for my marriage. I wish she had warned me ahead of time, apologized after the fact, or taken the time to step into my shoes and see why it might upset me. I don’t know or have ever even met or talked to any of Melissa’s ex-boyfriends or ex-bosses or whatever. I don’t know about her past, and I don’t care to. I only care about the present, and in the present, I promise I have nothing to do with hurting my family.
All right, no more heaviness! We still have a long road to go. Wait until you see me and Jacqueline finally meet next episode. The miracles aren’t over yet!