‘Real Housewives’ stars Teresa, Joe Giudice plead not guilty

“Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Teresa Giudice and husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice have pleaded not guilty to several federal fraud charges.

The Giudices, who made their mark on the Bravo series with their lavish lifestyle and combative relationships, held hands and were swarmed by media as they approached the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., on Wednesday.

The reality TV couple entered their pleas via their attorneys during a five-minute court proceeding, the Associated Press reported.

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A trial was set for Oct. 8 by U.S. District Judge Esther Salas. They are currently out on $500,000 bail each.

“They vehemently deny their guilt. There’s a presumption of innocence and they vehemently assert their innocence,” Miles Feinstein, an attorney for Joe Giudice, told reporters before the arraignment.

On July 30, the couple were read their charges during a hearing, which include a combined 39 charges alleging they conspired to commit financial fraud to obtain mortgages and other loans before their Bravo show debuted in 2009.

They are also being accused of hiding assets and income when they were going through their 2009 bankruptcy proceedings. At the time, they claimed 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, AP said.

Joe Giudice is also accused of failure to file income tax returns in 2004 through 2008.

If convicted, they could face hundreds of years in prison and millions of dollars in fines if given consecutive sentences. However, those penalties could be reduced because of federal sentencing guidelines.

Joe Giudice, who immigrated to the U.S. legally as an infant, is an Italian citizen and could face deportation if convicted.


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