News

‘Real Housewives’ stars plead not guilty in fraud case

‘Real Housewives’ stars plead not guilty in fraud case

"Real Housewives" stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice entered pleas of not guilty. Photo: Associated Press

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) – “Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice entered pleas of not guilty on Wednesday in a federal fraud case that could land them in prison for decades and see him deported to his native Italy.

The couple is accused of submitting fraudulent applications to obtain mortgages and other loans, concealing income from the reality show and failing to pay taxes.

Surrounded by court officers and private security, they entered the U.S. District Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey crowded with media and observers hoping to catch a glimpse of the reality television stars.

As captured on the reality show on Bravo Media, the couple and their four children live in a large, lavishly decorated mansion in Towaco, New Jersey and enjoy shopping sprees.

Teresa Giudice, 41, won renown in the reality television world when in the heat of an argument she overturned a dining table where the rest of the cast was sitting down for a meal.

Wearing a beige suit and her long dark hair pinned up in a neat bun for the court appearance, she did not speak. Neither did her husband, 43, clad in a dark suit with white polka dots.

At the brief hearing, federal prosecutors outlined the extensive 39-count indictment that accuses them of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, making false statements on loan applications and hiding income in a federal bankruptcy case.

Prosecutors say from 2001 until 2008, they submitted fraudulent applications to obtain mortgages and other loans. Following a bankruptcy filing in 2009, they are accused of concealing income that Teresa Giudice earned from the reality show, hiding rental income and concealing various businesses that they controlled.

Giuseppe Giudice also is accused of failing to file federal tax returns from 2004 to 2008, during which time he earned more than $996,000. An Italian citizen, he could face possible deportation if convicted.

Pretrial motions were set for September 9, and a trial date is tentatively scheduled for October 8 before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas.

Attorney Henry Klingeman, representing Teresa Giudice, said he would be seeking for his client to be judged fairly despite her celebrity status.

“I think it’s going to make it challenging to pick a jury that hasn’t formed a conclusion about her, good or bad, before trial,” the attorney said.

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Big plays help Huskies race past Beavers

Washington's John Ross returns a punt against Arizona State in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Seattle.

The Huskies became bowl eligible with a 37-13 win over Oregon State on Saturday night.

in Local Sports

WWU men wins exhibition at American University-Puerto Rico

western washington logo generic copy/wwu

Western Washington University concluded its trip to Puerto Rico on Saturday by defeating American University, 85-68, in a men's basketball exhibition game at Complejo Deportive.

in Local Sports

WWU women defeats UCSD

western washington logo generic copy/wwu

The Western Washington University women's basketball team rallied from a seven-point deficit and went on to claim an 80-77 overtime win over UC-San Diego to conclude final-day action at the West Region Crossover Classic on Saturday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

in Local Sports

Squalicum girls capture 2A state soccer title

Soccer Ball

The Squalicum Storm girls soccer team won the 2A state soccer championship, defeating the Shorecrest Scots, Saturday at Shoreline Stadium.

in Local Sports

Viking men place fourth, women sixth at West Regional Championships

wwu western washington university congrats vikes vikings from kpug

Katelyn Steen takes women's title, both squads qualify for nationals