(Scroll down for video) A star of the popular television show The Real Housewives of New Jersey” was charged with bank fraud, according to police reports in New Jersey.
Teresa Giudice, 41, and her husband, Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, 43, were accused of exaggerating their income while applying for loans before her television debut in 2009, and then hiding income while filing for bankruptcy after the first season aired.
The couple, who live in Montville Township, New Jersey, were charged in an indictment with 39 counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud. Each defendant faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
"Everyone has the obligation to tell the truth when it comes to the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. "That's the reality," he added.
Teresa Giudice, one of the five housewives, whose lifestyles and lavish rude behavior are chronicled in a TV series now in its fifth season, issued a statement through her lawyer shortly after the charges were filed.
"Today is a difficult day for our family," she said. "I support Joe and as a wonderful husband and a father, I know he only wanted the best for our lovely daughters and me. I’m committed to my family and I have the intention to maintain life in the best way possible, including continue my career. As a result, I have the hope that we will resolve this matter with the Government as soon as possible.”
According to the indictment, the couple filed fraudulent mortgages and other loan applications from 2001 to 2008, a year before the show made its debut on Bravo.
"Today's indictment alleges that the Giudices lied to the bankruptcy court, the IRS and to a number of banks," Fishman said.
Joe Giudice did not file tax returns for the years 2004 through 2008, when he reportedly earned nearly $1 million.
When his wife filed a mortgage application in 2001, she falsely claimed she worked as an executive assistant, submitted false W-2 forms and pay stubs, as part of the scheme, prosecutors said.