'Real Housewives' stars indicted on more charges

 

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Two stars of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” are facing additional federal fraud charges.

Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, 43, and Teresa Giudice, 41, were each indicted Monday on one count of bank fraud and one count of loan application fraud.

Authorities allege the couple prepared a mortgage loan application stating that Teresa Giudice worked as a real estate agent and made $15,000 a month. In reality, authorities said, she was not employed.

Monday's charges are in addition to a 39-count indictment handed down in July, charging the couple with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.

Joe Giudice also allegedly failed to file tax returns from 2004 to 2008.

The north Jersey residents, parents to four young daughters and known on the show for their lavish lifestyle and massive home, pleaded not guilty in July and are scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges Wednesday.

Henry Klingeman, a lawyer for Teresa Giudice, said she plans to plead not guilty to the new charges.

“She looks forward to defending herself at the trial, scheduled for February 24, 2014,” Klingeman said in a statement. “Beyond that, we will answer all of the charges in court, not out.”

Miles Feinstein, a lawyer for Joe Giudice, said his client plans to also plead not guilty.

“Our position is that it's really piling on,” Feinstein said.

Authorities said the couple exaggerated their income while applying for loans before their TV show debuted in 2009, then hid their improving fortunes in a bankruptcy filing.

Prosecutors alleged in July the Giudices submitted fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications from 2001 to 2008, a year before their Bravo show debuted. The couple is alleged to have made phony claims about employment status and salaries and in some cases filed fake W-2 forms and tax returns.

Prosecutors said the couple received about $4.6 million in mortgages, withdrawals from home equity lines of credit and construction loans.

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