"Real Housewives of New Jersey," meet real indictments in New Jersey.
"RHONJ" star Teresa Giudice and her costarring husband, Joe Giudice, were charged Monday with a plethora of federal crimes — and by "plethora" we mean specifically 39 counts that allege failure to file income tax returns and conspiracy to commit various types of fraud, among other unsavory acts.
"The indictment returned today alleges the Guidices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks," U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said Monday in a statement. "Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when dealing with the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages. That's reality."
The Guidices are, according to the indictment, accused of lying about their income when applying for mortgages and other loans between 2001 and 2008, before starting "RHONJ" in 2009. In 2009 they filed for bankruptcy and are accused of hiding businesses they owned and income they were earning from a number of sources, including Teresa's true "Real Housewives" pay.
Additionally, Joe is accused of failing to file income tax returns for years 2004 through 2008 — a period in which the 43-year-old is said to have earned almost $1 million.
The two are due in court Tuesday, though neither one is expected to be detained, a Fishman spokesman told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Her lawyer said she'd plead not guilty.
"Today is a most difficult day for our family," 41-year-old Teresa said in a statement to the Star-Ledger. "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."
In other words, the potential punishment of more than 50 years in federal prison if convicted, plus big-money fines, would really put a hitch in her future in reality TV?
That's one way of looking at it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.