Reality TV Stars Indicted

Federal criminal lawyer discusses indictment for two Real Housewives of New Jersey stars.  Most are familiar with the Bravo television series “The Real Housewives.”  This week, two of the stars from the New Jersey Housewives show, Joe and Teresa Giudice, have been indicted on federal charges.  The charges in the indictment include bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and making false statements on their loan applications.  Joe has also been charged with failing to file tax returns from 2004 through 2008–during those years it is alleged that Joe earned close to $1 million.

An IRS special agent involved in the criminal investigation stated that “the Giudice’s 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.”

Not only this, but In 2009, the couple filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Following that filing, they began to file several amendments to their bankruptcy petition.  Their bankruptcy filings required them to disclose all assets, liabilities, income and things of that nature.  The criminal investigation revealed that, during that time, the Giudice’s concealed their anticipated increase in income from the then-upcoming season 2 of the Bravo television show. Concealing their income and making false  declarations about the assets and income during their bankruptcy case is another huge issue in this case.

Now that the pair has made an appearance before a judge to hear their charges, the television network who “employed” them may come under fire.  There is a chance that employees used for filming the Bravo TV show could be called as witnesses to confirm or deny that the Giudice’s made large purchases with cash during their bankruptcy.  Bravo network may also be called to confirm or deny that Teresa’s anticipated income was left undisclosed in the bankruptcy action.  According to a legal expert, it is very serious that Bravo filmed the couple speaking to their bankruptcy attorney.  The expert feels that raw footage that did not make the air could be incriminating.  The question on unintentional conspiracy may also come up because of the filming.  Investigators will need to find out who knows what and how much they know.  It is not clear whether Bravo will actually be charged, but it is becoming clearer that the Giudice’s may need to be released from the show.

It is unclear how the couple managed to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy while they were living in a mansion and appeared to have a highly lavish lifestyle.  They filed for bankruptcy between Season 1 and 2 of the show, but no one noticed Teresa cutting back on her shopping sprees.

Of the most serious charges they face, bank fraud and loan application fraud, they could face up to 30 years in prison and be fined $1 million.  Both Teresa and Joe have retained federal criminal lawyers to help them handle this matter.

Having the support of a skilled federal criminal lawyer is beneficial because it can provide security that you are dealing with someone who has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the best chance of having your case defended properly, especially at the trial level.  Call a federal criminal lawyer to schedule your free consultation.