1. Exterior of Martin Luther King U.S. District Court
Newark, New Jersey, 14 August 2013
2. Wide of Teresa and Joe Giudice arriving to court
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Miles Feinstein/Joe Giudice's Attorney:
"Mood is good because they have faith in us, which we appreciate. We're going to work hard, which we have on all the cases. Henry's very experienced. I've been doing this -- only criminal law -- for a long time, and we work seven days a week, it's just like the press, OK? You have to work hard."
(Reporter: Are you optimistic?)
Feinstein: "I am optimistic."
Will they take a plea deal if they were offered it?
Feinstein: "They pleaded not guilty, so I don't think they would take a plea deal, no. No."
(Reporter: Will they travel outside the New York area any time soon?)
Feinstein: "I can't tell you that, but all you have to do -- you heard in court today if you were there -- is notify pre-trial services at least three days in advance and they'll get permission."
(Reporter: How are their children doing, it's been a couple weeks... how's the family doing the last couple days, last couple weeks?)
Feinstein: "The family's been great and they're great parents and they're protecting their children and their children understand and love them."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Henry Klingeman/Teresa Giudice's Attorney, on how his client's fame will impact the case:
"Well, I think it's going to make it challenging to pick a jury that hasn't formed a conclusion about her, good or bad, before a trial, but that's what we do. We work closely with the judge and I'm sure we'll get 12 fair and honest jurors."
'REAL HOUSEWIVES' STARS PLEAD NOT GUILTY TO FRAUD CHARGES
Husband-and-wife stars of the "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" pleaded not guilty in federal court Wednesday (14 AUG 2013) to a host of financial fraud charges that, if they are convicted at trial, could send them to prison for years.
Teresa and Guiseppe "Joe" Giudice made their pleas in U.S. District Court after passing through a gauntlet of news media outside the courthouse. Two weeks ago before their initial court appearance a brief tussle had broken out between the couple and a horde of reporters and photographers, but on Wednesday marshals set up metal barriers to form a walkway into the building.
The Giudices were charged last month in a 39-count indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.
Neither defendant spoke before, during or after the five-minute court proceeding, and their pleas were entered by their respective attorneys. Teresa Giudice, dressed in a cream-colored pantsuit and with her hair in a bun, was scheduled to appear at a book signing in northern New Jersey later Wednesday to promote her cookbook, "Fabulicious: On The Grill," according to her official website.
U.S. District Judge Esther Salas set a trial date of Oct. 8, but attorney Henry Klingeman, representing Teresa Giudice, said he expected the trial to be pushed back into 2014 due to the number of charges and complex nature of the case. Joe Giudice also is facing charges in Passaic County that he used his brother's identity to obtain a driver's license, presenting his marriage and birth certificates, and that case could reach trial before the federal trial, Feinstein said.
The couple is accused of exaggerating their income while applying for loans before their show debuted in 2009, then hiding their fortunes in a bankruptcy filing after their first season aired. They are also accused of submitting fraudulent mortgage and loan applications and fabricating tax returns and W2 forms. Prosecutors allege Joe Giudice also failed to file federal tax returns from 2004 to 2008.
Both face hundreds of years in prison and millions of dollars in fines if convicted and given consecutive sentences, but federal sentencing guidelines would likely greatly reduce the penalties.
The couple filed for bankruptcy in 2009, claiming they owed $11 million, including $2.2 million in mortgages, $13,000 to Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and nearly $12,000 to a fertility clinic.
Teresa Giudice has parlayed her fame into cookbooks, a line of ready-made bellinis and "Skinny Italian," a specialty food line. On the show, she is known for her expensive tastes and combative relationship with her brother and sister-in-law. They have four children.
Klingeman said it would be a challenge to pick a jury "that hasn't formed a conclusion about her, good or bad," based on her television persona.