Perhaps the most telling sign that you should not ever follow any example set by any Bravo "Real Housewife" was delivered on Monday, when the Justice Department announced that Teresa and Joe Giudice, two fixtures on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, were being indicted on 39 counts of charges that include bankruptcy and tax fraud.
"The indictment returned today alleges the Giudices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. "Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when dealing with the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages. That’s reality." Well, there it was. Fishman could not hold back making a reality TV joke.
Many of the financial crimes Teresa and Joe, parents to four daughters, allegedly committed took place prior to the show. The indictment, returned today by a federal grand jury, alleges that the Giudices, who live in Towaco, N.J., lied about their income to secure mortgages and loans back dating as far back as 2001. As The Associated Press explains, they are effectively accused of "exaggerating their income while applying for loans before their TV show debuted in 2009, then hiding their improving fortunes in a bankruptcy filing after their first season aired." The fraudulent activity started in 2001, according to the Justice Department.