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'Real Housewives of NJ' stars plead not guilty

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(AP) — Stars of the "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" pleaded not guilty in federal court Wednesday 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 was scheduled to appear at a book signing in northern New Jersey later Wednesday to promote her cookbook, "Fabulicious: On The Grill.""We have told them to continue life as they've lived it," Miles Feinstein, an attorney representing Joe Giudice, said. "They have contracts with Bravo and others, and they shouldn't imprison themselves."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.Keep click for more on this story.
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