NEWARK – 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, 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 Giuseppe 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,” 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.”
“The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General is pleased to join the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey and our law enforcement colleagues in announcing this indictment today,” Special Agent in Charge A. Derek Evans said. “We are committed to our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement to address mortgage fraud cases throughout the country. The American people need to be assured that their government is working to ensure integrity in the financial services and housing industries and that those involved in criminal misconduct that undermines that integrity will be held accountable.
“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.”
According to the Indictment:
From September 2001 through September 2008, Giuseppe and Teresa Giudice allegedly engaged in a mail and wire fraud conspiracy in which they submitted to lenders fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications and supporting documents in order to obtain mortgages and other loans. The Giudices allegedly falsely represented on loan applications and supporting documents that they were employed and/or receiving substantial salaries when, in fact, they were either not employed or not receiving such salaries.
For example, in September 2001, Teresa Giudice applied for a mortgage loan of $121,500 for which she allegedly submitted a loan application that falsely claimed that she was employed as an executive assistant. She also allegedly submitted fake W-2 Forms and fake paystubs purportedly issued by her employer. The indictment also charges specific instances where the Giudices allegedly committed bank fraud and loan application fraud in the course of obtaining loans from several banks.
On Oct. 29, 2009, the Giudices filed a petition for individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Newark. Over the next few months, they filed several amendments to the bankruptcy petition. 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. 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 “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” website sales, and personal and magazine appearances. The Giudices allegedly concealed their anticipated increase in income from the then-upcoming Season Two of the Bravo television show. The Giudices are charged with multiple counts of bankruptcy fraud for allegedly concealing and making false oaths and declarations about the assets and income during their bankruptcy case.
The indictment also alleges that during tax years 2004 through 2008, Giuseppe Giudice received income totaling $996,459, but did not file tax returns for those years.
The conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years of in prison and a $250,000 fine. The bank fraud and loan application fraud counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The bankruptcy fraud counts each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The failure to file a tax return counts each carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Fishman credited special agents of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge A. Derek Evans; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen; and Region 3 U.S. Trustee Roberta DeAngelis and the Newark office of the U.S. Trustee, with the investigation which led to today’s indictment.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty
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