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BroadwayWorld reported earlier today that Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe Giudice were charged on Monday in a conspiracy to defraud lenders and illegally obtain mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a press release.
"The indictment returned to 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."
According to the latest news from Deadline.com, the couple appeared in federal court in Newark this morning but did not enter a plea to the charges. Both paid a $500,000 unsecured bail bond. Judge Cathy Waldor, who believes the Giudices pose a flight risk, ruled that they had to hand over their passports and follow imposed travel restrictions. They are now only allowed to travel in New Jersey and New York State.
The proceedings also revealed that Joe Giudice is not actually an American citizen. This means he may face deportation back to his native Italy if convicted of the charges. The Giudices will be back in court on August 14 for arraignment.
Bankruptcy fraud counts each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while the failure to file a tax return counts each carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Giudice, who first gained the attention of television viewers by flipping a restaurant table during a heated argument with a castmate, released a statement via Twitter, telling her fans, ""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. 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."
Photo courtesy of Bravo