Updating a blog post we brought you last year, Teresa and Joe Guidice of the Real Housewives of New Jersey have pleaded guilty to federal mortgage and bankruptcy fraud charges.
According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, the couple from Montville, NJ, stood during a hearing last week and admitted their guilt to the charges. Through the admission of guilt, the couple entered into a plea agreement, with Teresa to spend less than two years in prison and Joe to spend a minimum of three years behind bars.
Last July, the couple was charged in a 39-count indictment that accused them of fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in mortgages and other loans, and hiding assets during their bankruptcy proceeding.
The couple filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, citing $11 million in debt. After the bankruptcy was filed, the couple withdrew its petition after allegations of dishonesty became public. In court, Joe invoked his Fifth Amendment rights after he was charged with the crimes.
The couple submitted fraudulent mortgage and loan applications from 2001 to 2008, including fake tax returns and W-2s. Prosecutors alleged that Joe also failed to file tax returns for the years 2004 through 2008.
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Do I Need a Washington D.C. and Maryland Bankruptcy Attorney?
Whether you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, not disclosing your assets is criminally punishable. It is not wise to conceal assets, as bankruptcy trustees can detect dishonest information that may be included in a filing, as most loans or pieces of property have documentation.
Owing back taxes is not an excuse to commit fraud. It should be noted that a person filing for bankruptcy might be able to discharge back taxes if they meet certain requirements. Some of these standards include that the debt is not income tax, nor other forms of taxes like payroll or sales tax, and that a person’s tax return for the debt was filed at least two years prior to a filing.
Often, bankruptcy is the best way to dig out of a financial hole. However, it is imperative that a person be honest when working with his or her attorney and the court. This case should serve as a reminder that fraudulently hiding assets or lying about taxes is punishable by prison time and fines.
If your financial situation is causing you problems, contact our Washington DC and Maryland bankruptcy lawyer now for a free consultation. We can offer you the best solution for whatever your debt issues may be.
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd
Judd’s Judgment: According to the IRS, there were 28 bankruptcy fraud investigations initiated by the agency during the 2013 fiscal year.