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HOME > The Real Housewives > The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Teresa Giudice: "I didn't fully understand" I could still go to jail when I accepted my plea deal


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/07/2014 

Teresa Giudice is pleading ignorance when it comes to her fraud case that landed her 15 months in jail.

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During a Monday night Watch What Happens Live interview with Teresa and her husband Joe Giudice, who was sentenced to 41 months in jail for tax fraud and conspiracy, Teresa explained she didn't comprehend why she had previously accepted a plea deal that could've gotten her up to 27 months in jail.

"I didn't understand that part. I didn't fully understand it," The Real Housewives of New Jersey star, 42, told talk show host Andy Cohen, according to E! News.

Teresa implied her lawyer never got into detail of what that plea agreement necessarily meant when it was introduced to resolve their 41-count federal fraud indictment back in March.

"I thought my lawyer was going to fight for me. I mean, that's what lawyers do," Teresa reportedly said.

"I don't know. That's why you hire an attorney. You put it in their hands. I mean, whatever they wanted from me -- believe me -- I followed their direction. Whatever they wanted, I gave them. I'm not trying to hide anything."

Joe allegedly admitted he used Teresa in his fraudulent financial schemes without her genuine consent.

"All right, whatever! I was taking out false loans," Joe said, adding that he didn't even know "how many damn counts we had."

"They were handing me the paperwork. Whatever the forms were, she had better credit. So, we used her. She never even came to closings -- she's never been to closings! She might of signed one document. Basically, I would get the paper work, [get her to] sign it, and it would be done."

"This was before Housewives, and whatever Joe told me to sign, I signed," Teresa noted. "Whatever I needed to do, I would have [done]. After I left court, I left court. I never spoke to my attorneys. It was done. The judge made a decision. It was done."

Because of how things played out, Joe expressed shock that Teresa got any prison time at all.

"I even took all blame and full responsibility for everything. It wasn't like she really had a part... in my businesses. Whatever," Joe told Cohen, E! News reported.

Teresa also received two years probation. She will reportedly begin her jail sentence on January 5 so she can enjoy the holidays with her family and Joe will serve his jail time afterwards. During her interview with Cohen, Teresa insisted she needs to "wake up."

"I do need to read things before I sign them. I do need to understand things before I sign... Sometimes I take what other people say, and I just believe them," the former The Celebrity Apprentice contestant said.

The couple has four daughters together -- Audriana, 5, Milania, 8, Gabriella, 9, and Gia, 13. Gia is reportedly the only child whom they've discussed the situation with.

Joe and Teresa both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as three counts of bankruptcy as part of the March plea deal. Joe also pleaded guilty to failure to file tax returns on nearly $1 million worth of his income.

In addition, the couple admitted to claiming false salaries between the years of 2001 and 2008 and submitting phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.

The second part of the Watch What Happens Live special will air Thursday on Bravo.



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