Teresa and Joe Giudice just pled guilty in their massive money fraud case -- and will likely be heading to prison.
The couple agreed to plead guilty this morning in NJ as part of a plea deal -- in which Teresa is expected to face 21 to 27 months in prison ... while Joe could get 46 months. Joe, an Italian citizen, also faces deportation.
We're told Teresa pled guilty to 4 counts (including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud) and Joe to 5 counts (same as Teresa, plus failure to file tax returns).
Teresa and Joe were initially indicted on a total of 41 criminal counts last year -- all between 2001 and 2011.
Among their alleged crimes -- prosecutors claim the couple used fake pay stubs, tax returns and W-2 forms to inflate their incomes and obtain nearly $5 million in mortgages and other loans. They also allegedly hid money they got from "Real Housewives" and other business ventures after filing for bankruptcy in 2009.
The couple will be sentenced at a later date.
In the Face of Prison
7/30/2013 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice doesn't look fazed by the possibility of a massive looming prison sentence -- in fact, she was all smiles with her daughter on Tuesday ... and she looked damn good too.
As we reported, Giudice and her husband Joe each face up to 30 years in the big house for bank fraud, tax evasion, and more -- after officials say the couple defrauded the IRS and multiple banks from 2001-2008.
The couple surrendered to authorities just hours ago, and have each been released on $500,000 bond. They're due back in court August 14.
Released On $500k Bond Each
7/30/2013 9:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Teresa and Joe Giudice are each free on $500k bond ... after surrendering to federal authorities in their fraud case.
As part of the terms of their bail, both Teresa and Joe had to surrender their passports and are restricted to New York and New Jersey.
Joe, who is not a U.S. citizen, is subject to drug testing. Teresa will not have to subject herself to drug testing.
The "Real Housewives of New Jersey" couple is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in New Jersey on August 14.
As we previously reported, both Joe and Teresa are facing 30 years in prison after being hit with 39 counts of fraud.
Teresa's attorney has previously stated that she will plead not guilty to the charges.
Teresa & Joe Giudice
Back to Court
In Fraud Case
7/30/2013 6:44 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
With media surrounding the building, Teresa and Joe Giudice just strolled into a federal courthouse in New Jersey to deal with 39 counts of fraud ... counts that could land them in prison for 30 years.
The "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars were locked hand-in-hand as they marched into the courtroom together ... Joe in a suit and tie and Teresa sporting a pantsuit.
The two are accused of greatly exaggerating their income while applying for loans back before RHONJ premiered in 2009.
They're also accused of submitting bogus mortgage and loan applications from 2001 to 2008.
The couple is currently waiting for their case to be called.
'Real Housewives' Stars
Facing 50+ Years in Prison
For Money Fraud
7/29/2013 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe have just been slapped with a laundry list of criminal charges -- ranging from bank fraud to tax evasion -- and now, they both face more than 50 years in prison if convicted.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman just announced the 39-count indictment, claiming Teresa and her hubby massively defrauded the IRS as well as several banks between 2001-2008.
According to the U.S. Attorney, the Giudices conspired to illegally obtain mortgages and other loans from multiple banks by intentionally overestimating their incomes in order to get more money.
The Giudices also allegedly withheld vital information about their net worth from a U.S. bankruptcy trustee after filing for Chapter 7 in 2009 -- including Teresa's true income from the reality show.
As for tax evasion, Joe is accused of failing to file income tax returns for the years 2004-2008, during which he allegedly earned $1 million.
All told, the Giudices were hit with 39 charges -- including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, which carries a max prison sentence of 20 years, and bank fraud, which carries a max of 30 years. The remaining charges carry the possibility of even more prison time.
Neither Teresa nor Joe has been arrested, but they're both due in court Tuesday morning in Jersey.
A rep for Bravo had no comment.