In July a year ago, the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star and her husband were facing a 39-count federal indictment that could have sent them to prison for more than 50 years each.
Today (Feb 4) in a hushed courtroom, Teresa and Joe looked sullen and deflated as the both pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges for concealing income and lying during bankruptcy proceedings.
As part of the deal, Teresa will get no more than 27-months in jail, if that, in, likely, a cushy federal prison. Her lawyer today said he would push for probation.
Joe faces up to 46 months in prison and took the brunt of the fall. With time off for good behavior, however, he may serve half that long, if he doesn’t swing probation himself.
Sentencing is set for July 8.
The Giudice’s barely spoke above a whisper as U.S. Magistrate Esther Salas in Newark accepted their pleas.
But outside the courtroom, Teresa and Joe must be shouting for joy.
They had initially been charged with “conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Basically, they tried to swindle lenders into giving them money by claiming they were employed and making “substantial salaries” at a time when they were either unemployed or not making the money the claimed, according to the indictment.
Hell, the guy didn’t even filed a tax return for four years (2004-2008) on an estimated $1 million in income. And, that’s just what he admitted to.
Instead, they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three types of bankruptcy fraud, according to The Associated Press.
Joe also pleaded guilty to failing to file a tax return for one year, 2004.
Teresa is already trying to spin her guilty plea. In a statement read by her lawyer, she said the mistakes she made occurred “several years ago.” In fact, they were lying and cheating almost right up until they were busted, according to the indictment.
Joe will still be on the hook, even if he serves time in jail.
Because he isn’t a U.S. citizen, he could be deported to Italy. His lawyer, Miles Feinstein, has already suggested Joe will fight any effort to kick him out of the country. He came to America as an infant and never realized he wasn’t a citizen, Feinstein said.
Don’t sweat it Joe. With a wife and three kids here, the odds of being deported are pretty slim.
So chin up Joe and Teresa. To say you dodged a bullet would be an understatment.
“Who loves ya, baby?!”