Joe Giudice and Teresa Giudice
Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe have pleaded not guilty to fraud, The New York Daily News reports.
The Giudices remained silent in the Newark, N.J., federal courthouse on Wednesday while their lawyers entered the plea. "They were relieved they could stand up in court and plead not guilty through their attorneys," Joe Giudice's lawyer, Miles Feinstein, said.
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The couple has been charged in a 39-count indictment, which includes conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud. In September 2001, Teresa claimed in a $121,500 mortgage application that she earned $3,750 a month while working for Modern Era Investment Corp. for four years, but according to prosecutors, Teresa was unemployed from January 2001 to 2008.
On Joe's part, prosecutors claim he neglected to file tax returns from 2004 to 2008, during which he supposedly earned almost $1 million and allegedly obtained fraudulent construction loans of approximately $800,000 and $1.7 million.The Italian-born reality star also faces deportation, since he never received his U.S. citizenship. "Joe didn't know he wasn't a citizen," Feinstein said. "The rest of his family is. Had he known and applied for citizenship he certainly would have gotten it."
Though there are rumors Joe might testify against Teresa, Feinstein insists the couple is standing together. "He'll do anything to help Teresa, but he'd never ever testify against her," he said.
If convicted, the couple faces up to 50 years in prison.