"Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast members Teresa and Joe Giudice made headlines Monday when it was released that the couple faced a 39-count indictment for fraud.
The reality stars were charged with "conspiracy to defraud lenders and illegally obtain mortgages and other loans as well as allegedly hiding assets and income during a bankruptcy case," according to a press release from U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman, cited by In Touch Weekly.
The familiar faces (and voices) from Bravo's Housewives franchise arrived at federal court in Newark, N.J., Tuesday morning where they could face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty, E! News reports. An earlier E! report also lists fines up to $1 million, in addition to jail time, among the possible repercussions.
The charges against the couple include a claim that Joe failed to file tax returns from 2004-2008, one year prior to the pair's Bravo debut. Giudice is said to have earned $1 million during this period.
In Fishman's statement, he slams the pair with a rather cutting dig: "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 a source for E!, the Giudice's will each have their own separate lawyer in court, and Teresa is "shockingly, shockingly calm about this." Joe, however, is apparently taking the news with less of a cool exterior, reportedly taking part in a scuffle with a photographer en route to court this morning, "prompting a warning from his attorney not to do that," E! reports.
Teresa's attorney Henry Klingeman released a statement that will plead "not guilty" and that they "look forward to vindicating her." Meanwhile, Teresa released a statement of her own, saying: "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."
No comment from Bravo.
About Pop RadarBoston.com's entertainment staff brings you the latest celebrity news and pop culture updates, along with discussions on the day's hot topics. And you're invited to weigh in. Let's dish.
ContributorsKatie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Kristi Palma is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.