The Real Housewives of New Jersey meet the reality of a federal courtroom today, when Teresa Giudice and her husband are scheduled to be arraigned on fraud charges.
Both are expected to enter not-guilty pleas in what is likely to be a short proceeding at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark.
Meanwhile, Giudice is not letting the court proceedings get in the way of her promotional schedule. According to her blog, she will be doing a book signing this evening for “Fabulicious: On the Grill” at the Posche Boutique in Wayne.
Giudice, 41, and her husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, 43, were charged last month in a 39-count federal indictment accusing the reality TV couple of conspiring to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in mortgages and other loans and of hiding significant assets and income during a two-year bankruptcy proceeding.
If convicted, both could face dozens of years in prison.
Joe Giudice is also accused of failing to file tax returns from 2004 to 2008, when he allegedly earned nearly $1 million. And in a separate state case, he faces charges of falsely obtaining a driver’s license.
He could be deported to Italy if he is found guilty on any one of the federal or state charges. While Giudice came to this country as a child, he never became a U.S. citizen.
According to federal prosecutors, the couple — who live in the Towaco section of Montville and have four daughters — obtained mortgages by lying about their income, before their hit TV series on Bravo took off.
For example, the indictment alleged that Teresa Giudice falsely claimed on a $121,500 mortgage application in September 2001 that she worked for four years for Modern Era Investment Corp., earning $3,750 a month. The indictment claimed she was unemployed from January 2001 to 2008.
The indictment also charged that Joe Giudice obtained fraudulent construction loans of about $800,000 and $1.7 million.
In 2009, the Giudices each filed for bankruptcy protection, but prosecutors said the couple concealed businesses they owned, rental income and Teresa Giudice’s true income.
The couple dropped their bankruptcy petitions in 2011.
Both remain free on $500,000 unsecured appearance bonds.