Teresa Giudice's family will stay by her side as she faces up to 50 years in prison. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star and her husband, Joe Giudice, were indicted on 39 counts of fraud on July 29, and released on $500,000 bail the next day. Former federal prosecutor John J. Carney tells Us Weekly that based on similar cases, 18 to 36 months of prison time is more probable than 50 years.
The Giudices were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud. Any time behind bars will affect their four daughters: Gia, 12, Gabriella, 10, Milania, 7, and Aduriana, 3. Fortunately, a source tells Us that family members are prepared to help them.
Teresa, 41, has a history of animosity with her brother, Joe Gorga, and sister-in-law Melissa, but the family are currently on good terms, as shown on recent episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. "Of course, the Gorgas will step up," the source tells Us, "as will [cousins] Rich and Kathy Wakile, especially since the kids are involved."
Other New Jersey-ites -- who found out via Twitter and the media, according to a source -- have had mixed reactions. Frequent guest star Kim DePaola tell Us, "I don't think Teresa would ever willingly do any of this." But according to a friend of several Housewives, other ladies believe the Giudices are simply reaping what they sowed: "This is karma."
While they await their next hearing on Aug. 14, the Bravo stars have been enjoying quality time with their girls on a beach vacation. Teresa posted adorable family photos of their trip on Aug. 4, including a picture of her and Joe posing with their arms around each other.
"The family is handling themselves with great dignity, but it's very traumatic," Teresa's attorney, Henry E. Klingeman, told Us. "And when you have four small girls, it's tough for everybody, including the girls."