Though they had originally pleaded not guilty to 39 counts of fraud and tax charges, Joe and Teresa Giudice of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New Jersey pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday in Newark, N.J.
They will be sentenced July 8. Joe Giudice faces a possible 37 to 46 months in jail; Teresa Giudice faces 21 to 27 months. In the original indictment, the combination of charges would have added up to more than 50 years of prison time and heavy fines if the Giudices had been found guilty.
Government investigators claimed that over a period of years, Teresa and Joe lied repeatedly on bank loan applications, collecting millions of dollars using fraudulent documents. I wrote this breakdown of the indictment against them, which is confusing and elaborate, last July. The Giudices have four children, who are prominently featured on the show.
The lead-up to these events — and their aftermath — are being filmed by Bravo cameras. A spokeswoman for the channel confirmed that the coming season is currently in production.
Joe Giudice's lawyer did not respond to an email requesting a comment. Through her attorney, Teresa Giudice offered this statement:
"Today, I took responsibility for a series of mistakes I made several years ago. I have said throughout that I respect the legal process and thus I intend to address the Court directly at sentencing. I will describe the choices I made, continue to take responsibility for my decisions, and express my remorse to Judge Salas and the public. I am heartbroken that this is affecting my family — especially my four young daughters, who mean more to me than anything in the world. Beyond this, I do not intend to speak specifically about the case outside of court, at the recommendation of my attorney and out of deference to the Government and our legal system."