Wire & Mail Fraud Conviction for ‘Real Housewives of NJ’ Celebs Teresa and Joe Guidice
In January, Teresa Guidice, of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” fame, began serving a 15-month sentence for mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud and failure to pay taxes.
Joe Guidice, who took responsibility for the fraud, was sentenced to 41 months in prison. He could face deportation after he has completed his sentence as he is not a U.S. citizen.
The couple faced a host of charges, including hiding assets from the bankruptcy court, obtaining mortgages in the millions on false paperwork, and false tax returns. Joe also failed to pay income taxes on approximately $1 million in earnings over five years.
Mail and wire fraud are federal crimes and are defined in the U.S. Code, under Section 1343, as requiring two elements: (1) intent to devise a scheme to defraud, and (2) use of the mail and an interstate telephone call or electronic communication for the purpose of executing or attempting to execute the scheme. Mail fraud and wire fraud are the same, with the exception that one uses the mail and the other uses the communication mediums of wire, radio or TV in interstate or international commerce. Convictions for mail and wire fraud can include 20 to 35 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
In the case of the Guidices, their fraudulent activities were flagrant. They hid assets, gave false information on loan applications and failed to file taxes, all of which was fairly simple to prove. One of the essential elements to proving mail and wire fraud is intent. The government must prove that the defendant knowingly and willingly participated in a scheme to defraud another of assets, whether they were tangible or intangible. Mail and wire fraud charges are very complex. If you are under investigation for fraud, it is crucial that you have a white collar crimes attorney on your side who has years of experience defending these kinds of crimes.
Even after they have served their time and paid their fines and restitution, the Guidices will still owe their creditors $13.4 million. The court staggered their sentences so that one of them could care for the couple’s four daughters while the other one served their sentence. Joe will be serving his state and federal time concurrently.
If you have been accused of a white collar crime or are under investigation for another crime, call an experienced criminal attorney at the law offices of David Jay Glassman. We provide skilled representation in both federal and state law cases.