The sweet days of freedom are dwindling for “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star, Teresa Giudice. She is set to surrender on January 5, 2015, and will be heading to the federal slammer in either Connecticut or West Virginia.
Teresa has been on the show since the beginning, and has built a solid and supportive fan base, who are affectionately known as the TreHuggers. They are passionate about all things Teresa-like, and their patience with her wacky antics never waivers. Even if a fan doesn’t call herself a cuddler of the Tre…there are many viewers out there who just feel that Teresa got a raw deal. WHY should a mother of four young’uns, be heading up the river just because of a few pesky signatures on a a stack of boring, and pretty darn hard to read documents? The argument most vocalized from this adoring huddle, is that she and her sloshy hubby Joe, stole from the big bad banks. Banks have all the cash anyway, right? Surely they didn’t feel it…sure, it was technically wrong, ya know, kinda illegal…but come on, what’s the biggie? This offense certainly should not warrant a mommy being yanked from her four weepy daughters! WHY can’t our dear Teresa be cut a teeny tiny break?
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First of all, mortgage fraud is serious business. It affects the consumer far more directly than most think, and it is NOT a victimless crime. Mortgage fraud plays a part in economic decline, due to rising interest rates, insurance costs, and the direct hit that independent contractors take. These contractors face losing businesses, homes, and all fraud victims face emotional and psychological struggles. Let’s not forget that the Giudices owe the IRS, leaving us honest taxpayers, footing the bill.
The other point that gets completely lost when the Giudice saga is bantered about, is that many other businesses, large and small were hoodwinked by Joe and Teresa. Remember that snazzy coat that Teresa paraded to court in, the one that got a bevy of women gushing? Have your eyes recovered (mine haven’t) from the beating they took as we viewed Tre prancing around in that mind numbing, metallic bikini collection? The mostly hideous, but probably always costly wardrobe, was at least partially pilfered. The Giudices have racked up debt to Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, which makes Teresa no better than a common shoplifter, who managed to slip that dreaded undercover detective. Milania’s closet is stuffed with designer, Tre-spired, and most likely, STOLEN pleated ruffles. The couple is also indebted to Home Depot. A ginormous and showy house demands maintenance, and a cute orange credit card sure comes in handy when you’re trying to sustain the nuts and bolts of gaudy.
Below is a list of creditors owed. We’ve removed the banks where the fraudulent loans were made. The list contains small businesses as well as large:
- Atkins Appraisal Corporation
- AJ Willner Auctions, LLC
- America’s Servicing Company (as servicing Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg, PC)
- BEP, LTD
- Crestar Capital, L.L.C. f/k/a CCTS Capital
- Dominion Management Company
- Lagrotta Law
- Mizzone & Testa, P.A.
- Putnam Leasing Company LLC
- Williams, Caliri, Miller & Otley, P.C.
- Alliance Laundry Systems LLC (c/o Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C.)
- Americas Servicing Company
- Athenia Mason Supply
- Capital One, N.A.
- Celentano, Stadtmauer & Walentowicz, LLP
- Citi Cards
- Citicorp Credit Services, Inc.
- Crosstown Plumbing Supply
- Dan Ban Construction, LLC
- Dominion Financial Corporation
- Elliott Glass Co., Inc.
- Excelsior Lumber Company, Inc.
- Ford Motor Credit Company
- Hackensack University Medical Center
- Home Depot Credit Services
- Jersey Central Power & Light
- John A. Testa, Esq. and Mizzone & Testa, P.A
- John Fellgraff, A.I.A.
- Joseph Mastropole
- Matarazzo Engineering
- Michael P. DeMarco, Esq.
- Neiman Marcus
- New York City Department of Finance
- Nordstrom Bank
- Norman Barna
- North Hudson IVF
- North Shore Agency, Inc.
- Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC
- PYOD LLC
- Passmore Cook Landscaping
- Phelan Hallinan and Schmieg, P.C.
- Putnam Leasing Company, LLC
- Ronnie R. Sanchez
- Ruby Persha and Stacy Persha
- State of New Jersey (Division of Taxation Bankruptcy Unit)
- United States Elevator, Inc.
- United Telecomp, LLC
- Victoria Wozniak and William Wozniak
- William C. Saracino, Esq. on behalf of Joseph Mastropole c/o Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli, LLC
- eCAST Settlement Corporation
What about all of the faithful viewers who are the actual families of the typical bread winner who busts his or her hump every day to put food on the table, in an honestly earned, middle class home? You know…that unacceptable sort of lifestyle that Joe and Teresa ran screaming from? The Giudices are equal opportunity swindlers, who left several small businesses in a lurch. When a customer doesn’t pay their bill, the proprietor suffers, plain and simple. It forces them to dig into their pockets to pay their suppliers, employees, sub contractors, as well as their overhead costs. It can throw them unfairly into debt, negatively affect their credit, and even their home lives. Most of us know that financial stress can wreak havoc, clearly a plight that Joe and Teresa deliberately sought to selfishly avoid. There were red party carpets to roll out, the newest models to buy, exclusive camps to attend, lessons, vacations…who has the energy for fiscal responsibility anyway? The uncomplicated truth is that the Guidice family enjoyed luxuries that typical business owners’ families did without, even when the freedom to choose those extras had been honestly earned. North Hudson IVF, the fertility clinic that the couple hired to bring Audriana into the world, hasn’t been paid in full, illustrating that even the gift of life wasn’t worth an honest effort toward monetary integrity.
We can also add some hard hit Hurricane Sandy homeowners to the lengthy, Giudice Victim List. Joe has been accused of shoddy, poor quality, post disaster workmanship, after pocketing the insurance payoffs from the vulnerable homeowners. Joe Mastropole, Joe’s ex-business partner, was fleeced when Joe forged his signature to obtain a line of credit on some jointly owned properties. Mastropole sued him and won, but still awaits his court ordered award. Joe’s ex-lawyer, John Testa is also a victim of the Giudice scam. A construction company, plumbing supplier, glass company, laundry service, mason supplier, landscaping company, an engineering firm….the list goes on and on and ON. Not surprisingly, some of these small businesses have actually shut down since taking this ‘victimless’, economic beating. What about their young’uns?
If you are a die hard TreHugger, have at it. But just face the hard truths here, and don’t tell yourself what she did was no big deal. Being indebted to a LONG list of banks, creditors, businesses, large and small, as well as actual individuals, is a VERY big deal. A person’s signature is a personal stamp of accountability, even if taking the time to read what you’re signing means postponing a shopping spree. They are going to prison because they are self serving criminals, who decided that their family deserved to live better than those they ripped off. If you want to see what those victims look like…find the nearest mirror and take a long hard look. It might just make January 5th, a little easier.
Becca is a Senior Editor for All About The Tea. She’s a coastal girl who loves the outdoors, and writing about the sneaky and silly side of reality TV. Her bio is short, but her snark is endless. She loves writing for the sharpest posters in the world.