Teresa Giudice and husband Joe Giudice file motions to have separate trials in fraud court case
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/24/2014
Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe Giudice have filed motions to have separate trials in their 41-count federal fraud indictment.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars petitioned for separate trials on Wednesday mainly because Joe believes he can prove his wife's alleged innocence, E! News reported.
The pair had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and face whopping fines and up to 50 years in jail, but Joe, 43, has reportedly insisted Teresa, 41, had no knowledge of or involvement in the criminal activity they've been accused and he'd therefore like to testify on her behalf.
"He feels he has evidence that could exonerate her," Joe's lawyer, Miles Feinstein, reportedly told The Star-Ledger.
In turn, Teresa's lawyer Henry Klingeman reportedly has stated Teresa would not be able to testify against her husband if they have a joint trial.
According to court documents obtained by E! News, "Should the trials be severed, Mr. Giudice has affirmed his willingness to testify as to Teresa's involvement in the alleged criminal activity. He would be unable to do so in a joint trial wherein his Fifth Amendment rights are invoked."
The couple's indictment charges them with bank fraud, loan application fraud, mail and wire fraud, and bankruptcy fraud. Joe has also been charged with failure to file tax returns between 2004 and 2008, a period during which he allegedly made $1 million.
In addition to testifying that Teresa had no knowledge of any "misrepresentation" on the different applications and credit lines, Joe has also reportedly vowed to argue Teresa was completely unaware of properties and businesses acquired and owned in her name.
Joe also plans to testify he, his business partner Joe Mastropole, and his attorney Fred Roughgarden forged Teresa's signature numerous times on documents without his wife's consent, E! News reported, adding that Joe claims bank representatives and other witnesses can also attest to the fact Teresa had never signed multiple financial documents.
Joe and Teresa are currently filming The Real Housewives of New Jersey's fifth season and are due back in court April 9.
Late last year, a choked-up Teresa opened up about the criminal case without revealing any specific details.
"Everybody's been supportive. And the thing is, there's nothing that anybody could do that can makes things better or worse, and it's just, you know, the best thing to do is give Joe and I our privacy. And that's it. We're just being positive and moving forward. Basically, I'm being the mom and keeping it all together. I'm the rock. I can't fall apart. If I fall apart, the rest of the family will fall apart," Teresa told E! News.
"I'm just focusing on my four beautiful daughters, my husband, and that's it. They're very busy, my kids, with their activities -- soccer, cheerleading, competitions -- there's a lot going on with us... I want to answer everyone's questions but I can't and I've been advised by my attorney that that day will come and it will be in court."
Teresa did, however, suggest at the time she didn't really understand the charges against her.
"Well there's things like the way they title them. It's strange. It's not vocabulary that I use every single day. So some of the charges, I don't understand, but I am learning. I am understanding what they are. Of course I am not in denial. I understand everything. My husband and I, we pleaded not guilty. That day in court will come. I'm not focusing on the negative. Like I said, I'm just being positive... I never knew how strong I was, but I am a strong person," the reality TV star added.
Teresa -- who also appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice's fifth season -- and Joe previously insisted they're being targeted by the government because of their celebrity status.