Teresa & Joe Giudice Ask Judge for Separate Trials in Fraud Case

01/22/2014 at 07:05 PM EST

Teresa & Joe Giudice Ask Judge for Separate Trials in Fraud Case
Joe and Teresa Giudice
Splash News Online
When it comes to their legal troubles, Teresa and Joe Giudice want space.

The couple, who star on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, face up to 50 years in jail for 41 counts of fraud including loan and bankruptcy fraud. On January 15, they filed motions to conduct separate trials in the federal indictment against them. 

In the court documents, Joe maintains that Teresa had no knowledge or involvement in any criminal activity, but will only testify to that fact if the request for separate trials is granted. 

The court document states: "Should the trials be severed, Mr. Giudice has affirmed his willingness to testify as to Teresa’s involvement in the alleged criminal activity. He would be unable to do so in a joint trial wherein his Fifth Amendment rights are invoked."

As Joe's declaration states, he will testify that:
• Teresa has no knowledge of any misrepresentation on loan applications, mortgage applications, or lines of credit;
• Teresa was not aware that various properties were acquired in her name;
• Teresa was not aware that various businesses were owned in her name;
• Mr. Giudice signed Teresa’s name on numerous occasions without her knowledge and authorization;
• Mr. Giudice’s business partner, Joe Mastropole, and Mr. Giudice's attorney, Fred Roughgarden, both signed Teresa's name on numerous occasions without her knowledge and authorization;
• Other individuals including bank represenatives were aware that Teresa had not signed various documents, including loan and mortgage applications, lines of credit, or HUD-1s.
Unquestionably, [Joe] Giudice's conduct and anticipated testimony would be just as imperative to Teresa's defense. If the codefendants are tried jointly, and Mr. Giudice invokes his Fifth Amendment Right, Teresa will be prejudiced."

While there is no confirmation as to whether the trials will be separate, the couple is due back in court April 9.

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