Bankruptcy fraud is obviously a tempting prospect to some: Teresa Giudice, ‘Real Housewives’ star, and her husband were obviously not able to resist temptation. The married couple that became known far and wide for their part in the hit TV show “Real Housewives of New Jersey” aren’t going to be home for a while. They’ve been sentenced to prison for bankruptcy fraud. It’s proof that even famous people can’t get away with bankruptcy fraud.
The popular reality TV show couple was sentenced in Federal District Court on conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges. Teresa Giudice was sentenced to 15 months in prison while her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice was sentenced to 41 months. The couple have 4 young daughters at home so the Judge staggered the sentences so that Teresa, the girls’ mom, will serve her sentence first, followed by Joe’s sentence. Teresa Giuseppe is scheduled to report to prison in early January 2015.
Mr. Giudice also faces an immigration hearing upon his release from prison. He will likely be deported even though his attorney says that he came to the United States from Italy as an infant and wasn’t even aware that he wasn’t a United States citizen until he was an adult.
The couple was openly criticized in the courtroom for failing to list several assets (vehicles, jewelry, etc.) in the presentencing report. Judge Salas stated that in sentencing Ms. Giudice, she had originally considered handing down a lighter penalty, but because of the omissions she changed her mind.
In March the Giudices pleaded guilty to hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitting false loan applications to obtain approximately $5 million in mortgage and construction loans. Mr. Giudice also pleaded guilty to charges of failing to pay taxes (totaling over $200,000). The couple is required to pay restitution totaling $414,000.
The penalties for bankruptcy fraud are real and attempting to circumvent the law or the bankruptcy process in any way should not be treated lightly. The Giudices are a good example of what can happen if you try to take advantage of bankruptcy law by breaking it for your own benefit.
If you want more information on filing for bankruptcy the right way – according to southern California bankruptcy law, contact an expert today. Call one of the bankruptcy attorneys at Westgate Law.