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Teresa Giudice attorney: 'The Real Housewives' star is being targeted because of her celebrity

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/31/2013 

Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice believe the government would not have come after them with financial fraud allegations if they weren't celebrities.

While Teresa told People last year "fame" and "being scrutinized" is the price to pay for being a star on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the couple's lawyers insist the Giudices' notoriety is also why they're facing 39 charges and potential jail time.

"She's certainly being targeted because of her celebrity," Teresa's attorney Henry Klingeman told People. "The government frequently targets high-profile people to draw attention to their prosecutorial efforts. It's especially happening here."

Joe's attorney Miles Feinstein added, "I feel that because of his celebrity status he's being treated differently than others are for the same offense."

Federal authorities in Newark, NJ, announced on Monday the Giudices were being charged with "conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications, and bankruptcy fraud," according to The Star-Ledger.

The 39-count indictment also charges Joe with failure to file tax returns between 2004 and 2008, a period during which he allegedly made $1 million.

Teresa -- who also appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice's fifth season -- and Joe both showed up to federal court in Newark on Tuesday morning for a hearing on the multiple fraud charges, E! News reported, and were reportedly released on $500,000 unsecured bail bonds each.

The couple is reportedly due back in court for another hearing in August.

(Photo credit Bravo)

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