Friday, September 19, 2014
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'Real Housewives of NJ' stars Teresa and Joe Giudice back in court, plead not guilty

Giudice and her husband, stars of Bravo's popular reality series "Real Housewives of New Jersey," pleaded not guilty before a federal judge in Newark, N.J. on Wednesday afternoon.

'Real Housewives of NJ' stars Teresa and Joe Giudice back in court, plead not guilty

Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, 43, left, and his wife, Teresa Giudice, 41, of Montville Township, N.J., walk out of Martin Luther King, Jr. Courthouse after a court appearance, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, 43, left, and his wife, Teresa Giudice, 41, of Montville Township, N.J., walk out of Martin Luther King, Jr. Courthouse after a court appearance, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) ASSOCIATED PRESS

From federal court to a book signing. For New Jersey "Housewife" Teresa Giudice, it's all in a day's work.

Giudice and her husband, stars of Bravo's popular reality series "Real Housewives of New Jersey," pleaded not guilty to fraud charges before a federal judge in Newark, N.J. on Wednesday afternoon.

Feds announced last month that the couple was charged in a hefty 39-count indictment which included conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.

Prosecutors also allege Joe Guidice failed to file tax returns for tax years 2004 through 2008, a period during which he allegedly earned nearly $1 million.

The couple faces hundreds of years in prison and millions of dollars in fines, though federal sentencing guidelines would restrict the maximum penalties.

Wednesday marks the couple's second court appearance since the indictment. The Giudices appeared hand-in-hand on July 30, each released on a $500,000 unsecured appearance bond. Both were asked to surrender their passports- their travel restricted to New Jersey and New York. Joe Giudice, who is not a U.S. citizen, could be deported to Italy if convicted.

Teresa's lawyer, Henry Klingeman, says the government is prosecuting his client because she is a celebrity. Klingeman said in a statement last month that feds like to target "high-profile" individuals to gain attention to their work. 

Giudice's fame comes from the "Real Housewives" franchise, which she has used as a platform to promote her cooking and lifestyle brands. The mother-of-four has numerous cookbooks and a specialty food line called "Skinny Italian," in addition to her other endeavors. 

In addition to their lavish tastes, Teresa and her husband have made ripples on the show for their aggressive behavior against friends and family members. In 2009, the couple filed for bankruptcy.

Bravo has yet to comment on the matter. Other "Housewives" have stepped forward to express their support for Giudice. She is still scheduled to sign copies of her new cookbook, "Fabulicious: On the Grill," Wednesday afternoon at Posche Boutique in Wayne, NJ, a store employee confirmed to us.

A trial date has been set for Oct. 8.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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