By Alan Duke
"Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars Teresa and Joe Giudice face new bank fraud charges.
The reality TV couple could spend decades in prison if convicted on the 41 counts alleged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in New Jersey.
The Giudices allegedly faked documents and lied on applications to get more than $5 million in loans over eight years before they joined the "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast in 2009.
They both entered "not guilty" pleas in August to the original 39 counts, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications, and bankruptcy fraud.
The husband and wife are due in court in Newark for the added charges on Wednesday, according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. The new counts stem from a $361,250 mortgage loan that Teresa Giudice, 41, got in 2005, Fishman said.
"In the course of obtaining the loan, she and Giuseppe Giudice prepared a loan application which falsely stated that Teresa Giudice was employed as a realtor and that she had a monthly salary of $15,000," Fishman said. "Teresa Giudice was not employed outside the home at the time."
Giudice lawyer Miles Feinstein told reporters in August that the couple would not be testifying against each other in the case, which he said they expect to win.
Teresa Giudice, in a written statement released after she was charged in July, said she would stand by her man.
"Today is a most difficult day for our family," she said. "I support Joe and, as a wonderful husband and father, I know he wants only the best for our lovely daughters and me. I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career. As a result, I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the government as quickly as possible."
The indictment accuses the Giudices of exaggerating their income by faking her employment history while applying for loans. They allegedly failed to disclose rental and business income after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009.
The indictment also charges Joe Giudice with failure to file tax returns for tax years 2004 through 2008, during which time he allegedly earned nearly $1 million.
The Giudices are free on $500,000 bond each, but they had to surrender their passports.
If convicted, the couple faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
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