'Real Housewives' Stars Face Jail for Alleged Fraud

Teresa and Joe Giudice were indicted on federal charges and could spend 50 years in prison.
3:52 | 07/30/13

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Transcript for 'Real Housewives' Stars Face Jail for Alleged Fraud
Now, to the real trouble for the two stars of "the real housewives of new jersey." In federal court today, facing mortgage fraud and other charges. They are known for fierce battles and legal woes. And now, could be facing their biggest battle of all. Abc's paula faris has that story. Don't turn this around on me. Reporter: This morning, two popular reality stars are facing a different kind of reality. The possibility of a life behind bars. Table-flipping, family be a man. Stick with your blood. Reporter: Teresa guidice and her husband, joe, were indicted monday on federal fraud charges. If convicted, they could spend as many as 50 years in prison. According to court documents obtained by abc news, the giudices allegedly submitted false and fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications from 2001 to 2008. The documents say joe failed to submit tax returns and did not tell the truth in bankruptcy court. Teresa is accused of reporting fake jobs. She went so far as to file fake w-2 forms. Reporter: Federal prosecutors also say the 41-year-old mother, known by her lavish spending habits and mansion, tried to hide the money she earned from "the real housewives" when she filed for bankruptcy. I got bankruptcy. Let me just die. Reporter: Bravo declined to comment on the matter. Still, the couple's past could be endangering their future and the well-being of their four daughters. The daughters have grown up in the spotlight. If both their parents go to jail, it's hard to say what would happen to the kids. Reporter: In a statement, teresa guidice call monday's indictment, a most difficult day for our family. Saying, she intends to maintain their lives as best their possible. Her lawyer says she will plead not guilty. Adding, we look forward to vindicating her. I'm a jersey girl. Reporter: Apparently, not even the long arm of the law. For "good morning america," paula faris, abc news, new york. For more on the case, we're going to bring in abc's chief legal affairs anchor, dan abrams. This is no joking matter. These charges are serious. They've thrown the book at them. A 39-count indictment. A conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud. A series of other charges. And they're saying this started back in 2001. And in effect, what they were doing, they say, when they were applying for loans, they would overstate what they had. THEY WOULD FILE FAKE W-2s AND Create fake pay stubs. When they filed for bankruptcy, they would do the opposite. Minimize the amount of assets they had. The authorities are saying, they went to great lengths. This is not just messing up some numbers. The authorities are claiming they went to great lengths to lie to the banks, to the courts, in connection with this long history of what they say is fraud. And could be facing decades in jail. And joe and teresa, are they equally implicated in this case? They're both implicated. And a number of charges are conspiracy where they worked together. For example, they're saying he didn't file tax returns between 2004 and 2008. That just relates to him. But for many of the most serious charges, you're talking about both of them. It will be very interesting to on the other one. But I don't think they're going to offer a deal that would not involve serious prison time here. So, I think that a deal might be hard in and of itself. Both are expected in court later today. Dan, thanks so much. Sam?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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