There's a twist in the Teresa and Joe Giudice fraud case. The Real Housewives of New Jersey couple, who have been charged with 41 counts of federal fraud and could face up to 50 years in jail if convicted on all of them, are reportedly going to plead guilty to some of the charges tomorrow, March 4, 2014. This is a new development — their lawyer had previously said they were going to plead not guilty. What does this mean for the couple's future?
Obviously, it's impossible to say how this will play out until the Giudices go to court and we see exactly what they do, and don't, plead guilty to — if it's true that they're going to plead guilty to anything at all. However, for the curious, here's a breakdown of what the most recent reports are saying about their potential punishments.
Will Teresa go to jail? The Giudices have four daughters, and most Real Housewives of New Jersey fans are worried about seeing the girls go without their parents. The good news is this plea agreement could save Teresa from jail time — but that's not a done deal.
While In Touch reports that Joe and Teresa are close to a plea deal that would cost the couple $11 million, lead Joe to spend a minimum of five years in prison, but leave Teresa out of jail with just five years probation, all other sources say a deal with a predetermined outcome has not been struck. If the Giudices do plead guilty, they will have to wait for sentences.
ABC News reports that Teresa is expected to plead guilty on just four charges. They could lead to up to two years of jail time, but that decision would be made by the judge, during sentencing. Sources tell Us Weekly that "probations, fines, and/or jail time" are all still options for both Tre and Joe.
We hope that if the Giudices do plead guilty, at least one of them will be let off without jail time — for the girls' sake, if nothing else.
Could Joe be deported? Joe Giudice is not an American citizen, and there has been some worry that he could be deported back to Italy if convicted. The bad news for the Giudices is that, according to ABC's sources, this frightening option is still on the table. According to ABC, if Joe does plead guilty, the decision of whether or not to to deport him will be in the hands of US immigration officials.
We'll find out exactly what the Giudices plead tomorrow, March 4. After that comes the sentencing process, which could last a while. We're wishing the Giudices luck in this difficult time!