NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two cast members of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” have pleaded not guilty in Newark to new fraud charges.
Joe and Teresa Giudice were arraigned Wednesday in federal court 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 say she was not employed.
Joe Giudice’s attorney said they are hoping for an acquittal.
“Nobody can ever say Teresa isn’t the greatest mother, that Joe isn’t the greatest father,” defense attorney Miles Feinstein said. “They’re spending their time with us, with the children and with the family and we’ll continue preparing until this matter is over.”
The couple pleaded not guilty in July to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.
In that earlier indictment, the couple was accused of exaggerating their income while applying for loans before their TV show debuted in 2009 and then hiding their fortunes in a bankruptcy filing after their first season aired.
Authorities allege the couple submitted fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications from 2001 to 2008, a year before their show debuted on Bravo. Prosecutors said the couple submitted fake W-2s, tax returns and bank account information to lenders.
Prosecutors also allege the Giudices received about $4.6 million in mortgages, withdrawals from home equity lines of credit, and construction loans.
Joe Giudice also was accused of failing to file tax returns from 2004 to 2008. During that time, his income allegedly fluctuated wildly; the indictment states he made $323,481 in 2005 and $26,194 in 2006.
In their 2009 bankruptcy filing, the couple said they were $11 million in debt. They stated their monthly take-home pay was $16,583, but $10,000 was from “monthly assistance from family members” and Bravo income.
It also said they owed $2.2 million in mortgages, $13,000 to Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom and nearly $12,000 to a fertility clinic.
Joe Guidice, an Italian citizen, faces deportation if convicted.
The trial date was initially set for Feb. 24, however, attorneys indicate the case could be pushed back to April, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.
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