Will Teresa Giudice Have to Auction Her Pool Table to Pay Bills?
07/22/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Last October, Teresa and her husband Joe filed for bankruptcy, listing almost $11 million in debt. Now, a trustee assigned to their bankruptcy case is alleging that the pair concealed financial records.
John Sywilok, whose responsibility as a trustee is to round up the Giudices' assets and distribute the proceeds to creditors, claims in court documents dated June 30 that the couple failed to list profits from several business, including Teresa's clothing line TG Fabulicious LLC, a pizza parlor (which was shown in an episode of Real Housewives) and her cookbook, Skinny Italian, which he claims was written prior to the bankruptcy filing.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Giudices are also accused of undervaluing luxury items listed as personal property in the bankruptcy filing, including a pool table ($1,000), wedding bands ($400) and living room furniture ($2,000). Sywilok wants to hold a public auction to sell the items inside their famous mansion in Towaco, N.J., the paper reports.
But an attorney for the Giudices, Jim Kridel, says things needn't go that far, and he plans to object to the filing in court, saying they did not hide sources of income. "The contract for Teresa's book was signed after the bankruptcy petition was filed, and all money was received post petition," he says, adding that the law allows the Giudices to freely spend money earned after they filed for bankruptcy.
"If she knew the recipes, it doesn't take four years to write a cook book," he says. "It's not a Mary Higgins Clark novel."
As for the pizzeria, it is owned by Joe's father, Kridel says, and therefore should never have been considered an asset at the time of the filing.
Kridel also points out that auctioning personal property may not yield much money to be divided up among creditors. "You can't sell used, personal property for the sticker price," he says. "A $5,000 chandelier won't sell for $5,000. Nobody will buy a used mattress. The real issue in bankruptcy is, what's the value of everything? And at the time of the bankruptcy, these things didn't have any value."
A hearing on the matter has yet to be scheduled.
Giudice couldn't immediately be reached for comment. --Charlotte Triggs