Forget reality TV drama — Teresa and Joe Giudice are currently dealing with far more serious problems. The Real Housewives of New Jersey couple has been charged with 41 counts of federal fraud, have pleaded guilty to some of the charges, and are now facing jail time.
So, you wonder, what's this case about, and how did it all unfold? This timeline of the lawsuit should help you navigate this ongoing story.
Teresa and Joe allegedly defrauded banks and the IRS over this period of time.
The Giudices file for Chapter 7 (AKA bankruptcy).
July 29, 2013
— U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announces Teresa and Joe's 39-count indictment, which includes charges of bank fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Why? They allegedly obtained mortgages and other loans by intentionally overestimating their income, which is illegal. They also allegedly withheld info about their net worth when filing for Chapter 7 in 2009, and Joe is accused of failing to file tax returns in 2004-2008. All told, Teresa and Joe could be facing up to 50 years of jail time if they are found guilty on all counts.
— Teresa speaks out about the charges on the same day this news broke, saying, "I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the government as quickly as possible." Her lawyer also announces that Teresa plans to plead not guilty.
July 30, 2013
— Teresa and Joe go to court to address the charges. The pair surrender to the federal government and are released on a $500k bond each. They are required to surrender their passports and are not allowed to leave New York or New Jersey without approval. Joe, who is not an American citizen, is also subject to random drug tests.
— Joe gets a little physical with a camera going into court, and Teresa refuses to talk to reporters after leaving court, but her lawyer praises her strength through this ordeal, and calls the suit tough on everyone, including the Giudice girls.
July 31, 2013
— Teresa's lawyer blames her fame for the lawsuit, explaining that he thinks the Giudices are being targeted due to their high profile. On the same day, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman declares he is confident Teresa and Joe will be convicted.
— Teresa attends the Beauty Buster Awards hosted by Lora Condon and appears in "good spirits."
August 5, 2013
August 10, 2013
August 14, 2013
August 19, 2013
Reports emerge that the prosecutors asked Bravo for unaired RHONJ footage that could help their case.
September 6, 2013
Teresa and Joe's court date is moved to February 14, 2014.
October 6, 2013
Teresa and Joe appear on the Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 5 reunion show. A body language expert says their attempts at good cheer masked deep fear.
October 13, 2013
The second half of the reunion aired, and we got some insight into Teresa's feelings on how this lawsuit has affected her life.
- Teresa reveals that Gia is the only one of her kids who has any idea what's going on.
November 18, 2013
Teresa and Joe are indicted on two more charges, one for bank fraud and one for loan application fraud.
November 20, 2013
Teresa and Joe have arraignment about the new charges, plead not guilty.
Reports emerge that Joe wants a separate trial from Teresa to help protect her. He claims that she did not know what was going on. However, federal prosecutors are doing their best to stop that from happening.
Teresa's lawyers demand the government provide more details about the allegations against her.
March 4, 2014
Teresa and Joe plead guilty to multiple charges of fraud. Sentencing will come at a later date. Joe could spend three to four years in prison. Teresa is expected to spend less than two years in prison, and is hoping to serve under house arrest instead.
July 8, 2014
Joe and Teresa's sentencing date.
June 19, 2014
The news breaks that Joe and Teresa's sentencing date has been moved to September 23 due to a "an administrative issue."
July 13, 2014
Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 6 premiere. The season will repeatedly include a lot of focus on the Giudice's legal drama.
September 8, 2014
The news breaks that Teresa and Joe's sentencing has once again been delayed, to October 2.
September 23, 2014
Joe and Teresa's sentencing date.
October 2, 2014
October 14, 2014
Joe returns to court for a different, state level case. He gets another 18 months, but he will be allowed to serve concurrently with his federal sentence, so it will not lead to more time in jail for him.
January 5, 2015
Teresa surrenders herself at 3 a.m. She will be serving her time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. This is the same prison Orange Is the New Black is based on.
What do you make of all this drama? Let us know in the comments below!