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‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ stars accept plea deal, may still face jail time

Teresa Giudice, 41, (R) and her husband Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, 43, (L) arrive at the Federal Court in Newark, New Jersey, March 4, 2014. "Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast members Teresa and Giuseppe are expected to plead guilty to charges stemming from their loan fraud case in which prosecutors say they lied on financial applications and hid income. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

“Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe have accepted plea deals stemming from their 41-count federal fraud indictment last year.

Appearing in a federal court in New Jersey on Tuesday, the couple — who received a 39-count indictment in July and two additional charges in November — were charged as individuals and accepted separate pleas for the offenses allegedly committed over a 10-year period between 2001 and 2011. Both had initially pleaded not guilty to all of the charges when they were filed.

As part of Tuesday’s agreement, Teresa Giudice pleaded guilty to four charges — conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud by concealment of assets, bankruptcy fraud by false oaths and bankruptcy fraud by false declarations. These four charges would have carried a combined maximum jail sentence of 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Joe Giudice pleaded guilty to those same charges as well as a fifth charge of failure to file a tax return.

The Giudices still face possible jail time as part of the pleas. Teresa’s new maximum jail sentence is 21-27 months, and Joe’s is 37-46 months.

A judge will decide whether to send either individual to prison at their sentencing hearing on July 8.

“Teresa and Giuseppe Giudice used deception and fraud to cheat banks, bankruptcy court and the IRS,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said in a statement. “With their guilty pleas, they admitted the schemes with which they were charged. Having now confessed their wrongdoing, the Giudices face the real cost of their criminal conduct.”