Teresa and Joe Giudice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey
have reportedly reached a plea deal to resolve their fraud case that could possibly send them to prison.
According to the New Jersey Record
, the couple plan on pleading guilty on Tuesday to the 41 counts of fraud
. Teresa faces less than two years in prison (or possibly even just probation
) and Joe would have to serve a minimum of three years.
The two were charged in July of 39 counts of fraud, followed by additional charges
slapped on in November. Among the several charges, they are accused of bankruptcy and mortgage fraud, failing to file tax returns between 2005-2009, and concealing the income they earned from Bravo for appearing on The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Giudices' tune has changed since August when they insisted they would plead not guilty
. But now, according to the source at the Record
, Teresa and Joe accepted a "packaged deal" from prosecutors, meaning that either defendant "could not plead without the other."
Teresa and Joe initially requested separate trials so Joe could testify to Teresa's innocence and Teresa could testify on her own behalf, but not against her husband. Prosecutors opposed having separate trials for the couple, but a trial at this point seems like it won't be necessary.
Miles Feinstein, Joe's attorney, declined to comment on the particulars of his plea deal, but said that rumors that Joe pleaded for prison time to avoid deportation were "erroneous." Joe is also still facing fraud charges from an incident in 2010
where he falsely obtained a driver's license.
Teresa and Joe have four daughters, from ages 5 to 13, the youngest of which was born while she was filming season 2 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey
. And she admitted to ABC News
last month that her legal troubles do affect her personal life.
"My oldest does know something's going on," Teresa told ABC. "I can't just be upset and crawl up in a ball and just go in a room and lock the door, I can't. I'm a mom. I have four daughters."
Despite their ongoing and severe legal battles, the Giudices have continued to film season 6 of Housewives
. (Image and videos courtesy of Bravo)