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Villain couple of 'Housewives' fights villain status in court

How much of reality TV is actually reality is up for debate. What isn't a question, however, is the severity of the fraud charges that Teresa and Joe Giudice of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" are facing. 

As if one count of a white collar crime weren't enough, the Jersey couple is charged with a whopping 39 counts of different types of fraud. The indictment includes charges related to taxes, bankruptcy and more. The number and severity of federal fraud charges could take the couple from out of the spotlight and into prison for as many as 30 years, according to USA Today. 

White collar crimes include deceptive actions involving businesses or parties that lead to financial gain. In the Giudices' case, prosecutors allege that the pair both engaged in deceptive actions that benefited them financially through loans and bankruptcy eligibility.

Teresa is accused of lying about her employment and income when filing for bankruptcy years ago. Basically, she and her husband supposedly tried to prove that they were poorer than they actually were. Doing so would hypothetically allow them to discharge debts that they should have been able to pay off.

With 39 counts of fraud threatening their futures, this is clearly a more complex case than what's been covered in this blog post alone. As more details about the white collar crime allegations develop, we will post an update. This week, the couple pleaded not guilty to all federal charges.

Those who watch the duo's reality show would understand how it would be in the defendants' best interests for the court to find them more likeable than the average viewer does.

Source: USA Today, "'Real Housewives' stars plead not guilty," Aug. 14, 2013

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