Teresa Giudice Update: "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star prosecuted because of celebrity status, lawyer says

Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, left, and his wife, Teresa Giudice, walk out of Martin Luther King, Jr. Courthouse after a court appearance, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez
(CBS/AP) NEWARK, N.J. - "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice, who is facing federal fraud charges along with her husband, Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice, is being prosecuted because she's a celebrity, her attorney said Tuesday.

PICTURES: Reality TV stars' run-ins with the law

"They're certainly being prosecuted because of their association with the show," Klingeman told reporters following a Tuesday court hearing after the Giudices made their way through a pack of media to a waiting black SUV.

The Giudices, who rose to fame by showcasing their lavish lifestyle on the popular Bravo reality TV series, were indicted Monday on bank and bankruptcy fraud charges, among other counts. Joe Giudice is also charged with failing to file tax returns from 2004 to 2008.

The couple stands accused of exaggerating their income while applying for loans before their TV show debuted in 2009, then hiding their improving fortunes in a bankruptcy filing after their first season aired.

The bank fraud and loan application charges they face each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

After a brief court appearance Tuesday in a packed New Jersey federal court, the two were released on $500,000 bond apiece. They were ordered to surrender their passports and to restrict their travels to New Jersey and New York. Joe Giudice, an Italian citizen, could be deported if convicted.

He is also facing charges in Passaic County that he used his brother's marriage and birth certificates to obtain a driver's license for himself.

His lawyer, Miles Feinstein, rejected a plea deal in April.

Feinstein echoed Klingeman's concern that his client's celebrity affected the Passaic County case.

"In Passaic County, where I represent him, I feel that because of his celebrity status he's being treated differently than others are for the same offense," said Feinstein, who did not comment on the federal case.

Their attorneys say both will plead not guilty.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CBS News' Crimesider.

Complete coverage of Teresa Giudice on Crimesider

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