The RHONJ star is facing 50 years behind bars after being slammed with a 39-count indictment. So, what will happen to the kids? Will she testify? Could she lose everything? Here are the answers.
What exactly is Teresa charged with?
Teresa and her husband Joe Giudice are both facing 30 counts of financial fraud. Those charges include instances of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, lying on loan and mortgage applications and bankruptcy fraud. Joe is also charged with failure to file tax returns from 2004 to 2008.
What kind of jail time is Teresa facing?
At worst, she could be facing more than fifty years: The conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud count carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison, the bank fraud and loan application fraud counts carry a potential penalty of 30 years in prison and the bankruptcy fraud counts carry a maximum penalty of 5 years.
Could Teresa and Joe lose their house?
It seems likely. Joe and Teresa could be forced to pay $1.55 million in fines, and they're already in the red financially. The government could take their New Jersey mansion.?
Will the Real Housewives of New Jersey be cancelled?
Bravo's Housewives franchises depend on drama but this could be a little too real. So far, they've adopted a wait-and-see approach, according to reports.
Who's standing by Teresa?
Of Teresa's Bravo co-stars, only former Housewife Dina Manzo, Caroline's sister, has offered support, tweeting on Monday, "Keeping a friend in my prayers tonight… This too shall pass xo"
Have any other RHONJ stars been accused of similar behavior?
Jacqueline and Chris Laurita were accused of having "improperly used funds and assets" from their clothing company in a 2011 civil bankruptcy case.
Did Teresa see this coming?
Despite her insistence that she lets her husband handle the family's financial affairs, Teresa should have gotten a wakeup call when Joe went to trial for a 2007 fraud case and was found liable.
What will happen to the kids?
If Teresa and Joe are both locked up, their daughters Gia, 12, Gabriella, 8, Milania, 7, and Audriana, 3, will likely be cared for by Teresa's brother Joe Gorga and his wife Melissa, despite the ongoing family drama.
Will Melissa and Joe testify?
It's entirely possible that Joe, Melissa, and other RHONJ cast members will take the stand. "The government will talk to anybody who they think will help them," federal attorney David DeStefano told In Touch.
What did they spend all that money on?
Teresa and Joe loved to flash cash for the RHONJ cameras. In one episode, Teresa paid $120,360 cash for furniture for her home, which she claimed was worth $5 million.
What did she spend all the money on?
How exactly did they commit the fraud?
There were probably many tactics, but in a previous fraud case, Joe had admitted to forging a business partner's signature in legal documents so he could net himself $1 million.
Could Bravo be in legal trouble?
New Jersey-based attorney Darren Del Sardo told Fox411's Poptart column that Bravo is likely speaking to attorneys now to protect themselves from future legal trouble. However, he said, "It is unlikely that Bravo would be named in any criminal action."
Could Joe take the fall?
When Joe and Teresa were charged with fraud before, he said he "might have" forged her name, clearing the way for Teresa to be discharged from the case. Attorney Monica Chacon says he's likely to work for a similar deal now.
Could Joe be deported?
Yes. Joe is not an American citizen, so he could be heading back to Italy. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, "document fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, or related violations" are potential grounds for deportation.
How did the authorities get tipped off?
Feds have been investigating the Giudices behind the scenes for years. When they withdrew their bankruptcy filing in 2011, that was a huge red flag that they were hiding something.
How did the Feds nab them?
Attorney Monica Chacon, who worked on the 2007 fraud case, says she's been in contact with various federal agencies for years. It's likely they spoke to other individuals as well to gather evidence.
How are the kids coping?
By all appearances, they're doing fine. On Tuesday, the day after the indictment, Teresa's daughter Gia posted a happy pic on Twitter captioned, "Summer~shore~beach~tan~ocean~pool~friends~family HAVE FUN IT'S SUMMER TIME!"
What do Teresa's friends and neighbors in New Jersey think?
"Everybody around her knows that they're sleazy," Teresa's attorney Monica Chacon tells RadarOnline.com.
Can Joe and Teresa flee the country?
Joe and Teresa allegedly stashed funds in Italy, but both of their passports have been confiscated and they're not allowed to leave New Jersey or New York state.
Will Teresa plead innocent or guilty?
Teresa's attorney, Henry Klingeman, told USA Today that she will plead not guilty to the charges and Joe's attorney Miles Feinstein said they "profess their innocence... A coin has two sides. There is another side here that you haven’t heard, but you’ll hear in the courtroom.”
What will happen to Teresa's businesses?
Reps for Teresa's wine Fabellini, Milania Haircare Products and Skinny Italian food products did not respond to requests for comment. According to the NY Daily News, she also has plans underway to open a cupcake shop.
Will RHONJ footage be used as evidence?
Since Teresa and Joe met with a bankruptcy attorney on-screen, legal experts say it's likely the Feds will want to look at raw footage from the show for use as evidence.
How much could they have to pay back?
Teresa and Joe could have to pay $1.55 million in fines to the government. They also still owe Joe's former business partner, Joe Mastropole, $260,000 for forging his name on a mortgage discharge.
Is Teresa standing by her man?
100 percent. She said in a statement, "I support Joe, and as a wonderful husband and father I know he only wants the best for our lovely daughters and me."
How is Joe coping with the stress?
Not well! He attempted to bat away a photographer's camera on the way into court on Tuesday, and had to be warned by his lawyer.