Gossip site TMZ is reporting that Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe have pleaded guilty to charges against them in their fraud case.
The reality stars made their pleas in a Newark, NJ court as part of an agreement; the alternative would have been facing decades in jail.
TMZ says that Teresa Giudice pleaded guilty to 4 counts of fraud. Joe Giudice pleaded to 5 counts, which included failure to file tax returns.
The charges cover a period from 2001 to 2011, during which the reality TV couple made false claims on loan applications, allowing them to collect upwards of $5 million over eight years in mortgages and loans for various projects. There was also an issue of filing for bankruptcy, even as they were making money off of their appearance on the popular Housewives show.
The couple was arrested for over 39 counts of fraud in July of 2013. They were later released on $500,000 bonds. More counts were added at a later date.
Surely our legal system understands how important it is that Teresa Giudice be at the 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' reunion.
— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) March 4, 2014
Wow……. after all this time denying it RT @jillianbowe: #RHONJ Stars Plead Guilty in Fraud Case http://t.co/xl49VJolwK via @nbcnewyork
— The Kitchenista (@MissAngelaDavis) March 4, 2014
There had been rumors that the pair would attempt to plead to certain charges and avoid a trial and jail time. Because of the serious nature of the charges, it’s looking less and less likely that either can completely avoid jail.
Whereas there were some reports to suggest 41-year-old Teresa Giudice may do a maximum of five years of probation, TMZ is claiming that the agreement may land her in jail for roughly two years. Her husband Joe Giudice, 43, may be facing up to four years in prison. As he is an Italian citizen there is still the possibility Joe could be deported.
Given the serious nature of these crimes and the decades attached to the original charges, it’s easy to feel like these celebs are getting off easy. Many argue against the possibility of probation, saying that anything less than jail would be a mockery of the system.
Controversy surrounding the rumored plea deals will continue to swirl as Teresa and Joe Giudice wait find out their fates. The two will not be sentenced until a later date.
Image via YouTube