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Joe Giudice: What did he do, what crime was his prison sentence for and what is is net worth?

Joe and Teresa Giudice pose together for a photo shared to her Instagram
Joe and Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Pic credit: @teresagiudice/Instagram

Real Housewives of New Jersey fans are still reeling from news that Joe Giudice’s deportation hearings are not going in his favor. After another day in immigration court, the RHONJ husband learned that the United States is planning to deport him back to Italy after prison, prompting many questions about the reason for Teresa and Joe Giudice’s prison sentences in the first place.

What did Joe Giudice do for a living?

Prior to his conviction, Joe Giudice worked as a restaurant owner and a construction business owner. It was through his business ownership that Joe and Teresa were able to get away with their scheme for so long.

As Real Housewives of New Jersey viewers got to know Teresa and Joe Giudice, it became very obvious that Joe’s business ventures weren’t really that successful. After learning how far the RHONJ couple was willing to go in order to achieve the lifestyle of their dreams, things started making more sense.

What crimes did Teresa and Joe commit and what was his prison sentence for?

On October 2, 2014, Joe Giudice was sentenced to 41 months in prison after he was found guilty of 41 counts of mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud. The Real Housewives of New Jersey husband was charged with 39 of those counts in July 2013 but two more were added that November.

The fraud charges followed a 2009 bankruptcy filing by Teresa and Joe Giudice where the couple was accused of hiding their millions in order to discharge their debt. The RHONJ couple was accused of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and making false statements on loan applications.

Joe was also accused of failing to file his taxes from 2004 to 2008. During the court proceeding, Joe lied about not filing tax returns.

The bankruptcy and the charges that followed came about the same year that The Real Housewives of New Jersey debuted on Bravo. As Teresa Giudice was becoming a star, it turns out that everything was falling apart around her.

Between 2001 and 2008, the Giudices were accused of inflating their actual incomes by claiming that Teresa worked for Joe and drew a salary.  Using false W-2s, pay stubs and other documentation, they were said to have secured millions in loans that Teresa and Joe wouldn’t otherwise be qualified for.

Teresa also lied under oath about how much she received for her role on RHONJ and how much she earned for Fabulicious, her food and cookbook brand.

Initially, it was reported that both Teresa and Joe Giudice could receive up to 50 years in prison for their crimes. It’s safe to say that they got off rather easy, with Joe serving the longest sentence and Teresa only serving 11 months out of the 15-month sentence she received.

That was the result of a plea deal worked out by the Giudices and their legal team. At first, they plead not guilty to the fraud charges but after it became clear that a not guilty verdict was looking unlikely, Teresa and Joe decided a plea bargain and shorter prison sentences were the safer bet.

What is Joe Giudice’s net worth?

There’s been a lot of interest in Joe Giudice’s net worth since learning that the Real Housewives of New Jersey husband is set to be deported to Italy. Unfortunately, it looks like his net worth may still be in the negative. When the Giudices filed for bankruptcy in 2009, they claimed to be $11 million in debt and that included $2 million in real estate.

Despite Teresa Giudice’s return to Real Housewives of New Jersey after serving her prison sentence, the Giudices are still listed as being $11 million in debt. Teresa does receive a salary for her role on the Bravo series but she still lives a very lavish lifestyle, casting doubt on whether she and Joe have actually chipped away at the debt they were trying to discharge.

With Joe Giudice’s deportation looming, many are asking what Teresa Giudice might do. Previously, she’s denied any chance that she might divorce Joe. In fact, she’s even said at one point that she wouldn’t mind moving to Italy if Joe were to get deported. Does that mean we might be watching a Real Housewives spinoff in Italy with the Giudice family?

Shaunee Flowers is an editor and a writer for Monsters & Critics. She primarily writes about reality TV and has watched it since the very... read more
Shaunee Flowers

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