Things just got very real for Teresa and Joe Giudice as The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars plead guilty today in their wide-ranging fraud case.
According to sources with TMZ, Teresa plead guilty to 4 counts (including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud) and Joe to 5 counts (same as Teresa, plus failure to file tax returns).
NorthJersey.com reports that the plea agreements mean Joe “could be sentenced to a minimum of three years but less than four years in prison,” and that Teresa “would face a term within the range of 21 to 27 months.” The site points out that Teresa may ask for a lesser sentence because of family circumstances and her “minimal role.” Joe is also still facing the possibility of deportation to Italy after he serves his sentence.
Among the crimes the pair were alleged to have committed — faking documents like pay stubs and tax returns to inflate their incomes to falsely obtain around $5 million in loans.
After the sentencing hearing, Teresa’s attorney, Henry E. Klingeman, read a statement from her to the large crowd of reporters and photographers:
“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,” the statement said.
“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 the court, at the recommendation of my attorney and out of deference to the government and our legal system.”
The Giudices’ sentencing is scheduled for July 8.