NEWARK, N.J. – Two of the stars of the Bravo television show "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" were charged today 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.
Teresa Giudice, 41, and her husband, Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, 43, both of Towaco, N.J., were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud in a 39-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury. The indictment also charges Joe Giudice with failure to file tax returns for tax years 2004 through 2008, during which time he allegedly earned nearly $1 million.
"The indictment returned today alleges the Guidices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks," U.S. Attorney Fishman said. "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."
Teresa began appearing on Bravo's "Real Housewives" franchise in 2009. Her husband's legal troubles have often been discussed on the series. They have four young daughters who also appear on the show.
"The privilege of living well in the United States carries certain real responsibilities..." 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."
Teresa's attorney said she will plead not guilty and that "we look forward to vindicating her."
The star also issued her own statement saying "today is a most difficult day for our family." She added that she supports her husband and is committed to continuing her career.
The show is in its fifth season on Bravo. A network spokesman had no comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.