Prosecutors allege the Giudices received about $4.6 million in mortgages, withdrawals from home equity lines of credit and construction loans.
Joe Giudice, an entrepreneur, also failed to file tax returns for the years 2004 through 2008, when he is alleged to have earned nearly $1 million, prosecutors said. During that time his income allegedly fluctuated wildly; the indictment states he made $323,481 in 2005 and $26,194 in 2006.
The couple filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009, claiming they owed $11 million, including $2.2 million in mortgages, $13,000 to Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and nearly $12,000 to a fertility clinic.
Joe Giudice is also facing charges in Passaic County that he used his brother’s identity to obtain a driver’s license, presenting his marriage and birth certificates. His lawyer, Miles Feinstein, rejected a plea deal in April.
“In Passaic County, where I represent him, I feel that because of his celebrity status he’s being treated differently than others are for the same offense,” said Feinstein, who did not comment on the federal case.
Teresa Giudice has parlayed her fame into cookbooks, a line of ready-made bellinis and “Skinny Italian,” a specialty food line.
On the show, she is known for her expensive tastes and combative relationship with her brother and sister-in-law. But Klingeman noted that the show helps support the couple and their four children.
“While it’s called reality TV,” Klingeman said, “I’m not sure everything you see on the show is real.”