The "reality" drama just got incredibly real for “Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Teresa and Joe Giudice. The Bravo TV couple has been battling financial problems for years, but the heat got turned up when they were indicted on federal fraud and tax charges Monday, Us Weekly reported.
U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul J. Fishman charged the Giudices on a 39-count indictment, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud, the celebrity news site added.
Teresa Giudice, the 41-year-old raven-haired starlet, issued a statement to Us Weekly: "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."
Joe Giudice, 43, did not file tax returns from 2004 to 2008, according to the celebrity news site, even though he supposedly made a cool $1 million.
"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 of IRS-Criminal Investigation at the FBI's Newark Field Office, told Fox News. "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."
The Giudice’s have three children together: Gia, 12; Gabrielle, 9; and Milania, 8. Teresa is best known for her fiery temper on “RHONJ,” which is on its fifth season, and has penned several cookbooks.
If the couple are found guilty they could be locked up for 50 years since bank fraud carries a maximum of 30 years and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud holds a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. But Teresa apparently doesn’t plan on spending anytime behind bars.
Her lawyer, Henry Klingeman, told Us Weekly: "Teresa will plead not guilty. The judicial process that begins today with an indictment is a search for the truth. As it moves forward, we look forward to vindicating her."
“RHONJ” airs on Bravo every Sunday at 8/7c.