Legal Problems Mount for N.J. Housewife Giudice

     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Teresa Giudice, the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star facing federal fraud charges, has been hit with another legal punch.
     Alliance Laundry Systems, a manufacturer of commercial laundry products, asked a Philadelphia judge to enter a $235,500 judgment against the 41-year-old housewife.
     The Delaware company filed the praecipe to enter judgment Wednesday through its lawyer, Lloyd Markind of Sklar – Markind in Cherry Hill, N.J.
     Just two days earlier, federal prosecutors indicted Giudice and her husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice,” on 33 counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The fraud charges allege bank fraud, loan application fraud and bankruptcy fraud.
     The husband, 43, separately faces five counts related to his alleged failure to file tax returns for tax years 2004 through 2008, during which time he allegedly earned $996,459.
     U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said the Towaco, N.J., couple conspired to defraud lenders and illegally obtain mortgages and other loans as well as hide assets and income during a bankruptcy case.
     The Giudices’ alleged mail and wire fraud conspiracy involved them inventing fictitious employment and substantial salaries to obtain mortgages and other loans, according to the indictment.
     “For example, in September 2001, Teresa Giudice applied for a mortgage loan of $121,500 for which she submitted a loan application that falsely claimed that she was employed as an executive assistant,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “She also submitted fake W-2 Forms and fake paystubs purportedly issued by her employer. The indictment also charges specific instances where the Giudices committed bank fraud and loan application fraud in the course of obtaining loans from several banks.”
     The Giudices allegedly filed for individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Newark on Oct. 29, 2009.
     Though the couple should have disclosed assets, liabilities, income and other information in those proceedings, prosecutors said they “intentionally concealed businesses they owned, income they received from a rental property, and Teresa Giudice’s true income from the television show ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey,’ website sales, and personal and magazine appearances.”
     “The Giudices concealed their anticipated increase in income from the then-upcoming Season Two of the Bravo television show,” the Justice Department added.
     The conspiracy charges carry maximum sentences of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fines.
     The bank fraud and loan application fraud counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The bankruptcy fraud counts each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The failure to file a tax return counts each carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
     The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Romankow and Rachael Honig in Newark.
     They said Paterson, N.J., attorney Miles Feinstein represents Giuseppe Giudice and that Newark attorney Henry Klingeman represents Teresa Giudice.

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