Teresa and Joe Giudice Plead Guilty to Fraud

The "Real Housewives of New Jersey" husband-and-wife team could now face prison time.
3:00 | 03/05/14

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Transcript for Teresa and Joe Giudice Plead Guilty to Fraud
She is best known for throwing tables around on "The real housewives of New Jersey" but tonight, Teresa jiudice and her husband are facing possible jail time pleading guilty for fraud. Arriving at a federal court in Newark, New Jersey, holding hands, Teresa and Joe Giudice today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud. They both admitted to a federal judge that over the better part of a decade they were engaged in a scheme to defraud financial institutions, and the irs. It was the culmination of an almost eight-month-long legal fight where federal prosecutors presented evidence that the reality TV stars' lavish lifestyle was funded partially on ill gotten gains. Outside the court, Teresa Giudice's attorney read a statement from her. Today, I took responsibility for a series of mistakes I made several years ago. I am heart broken that this is affecting my family. Reporter: Wendy Feldman has been counskocounseling the giudices every step of their legal ordeal. It's stressful to go through this in private, so you compound that by the fact that they're reality stars. It's very tough. Reporter: She says their legal problems were only compounding of being on TV. Part of what that I ear charged with played out on television. Reporter: It was just another page in the tangled history of reality TV. In a series known for its over the top theatrics. Get off, be a man, stick with your blood. I'm not sticking with scum like you. Reporter: She's perhaps the most recognized and controversial of them all. A woman as famous for home run exce -- her excess. My house is granite, marble, onyx -- Reporter: As she is for her cat fights. We spent time with her and her husband back in January while they were still in the cross hairs of a federal indictment. Was there any pressure when you're on a show like "The real housewives of New Jersey" to have a bigger house and fancier things and really show case wealth? Any pressure? No, I mean, I don't feel it like. I don't try to keep up with the jones. Reporter: A lavish lifestyle that may have drawn attention to the federal prosecutors. They say there's a pattern that goes back to 2001, misrepresenting how much you were making in order to get loans and then misrepresenting how little you were making when it came to filing for taxes and bankruptcy. What do you make of all that? I would love to answer your questions and one day I will, but out of respect for the process, I will let the legal matters play out in court. Reporter: The giudices are just the latest in a string of reality TV stars whose fortunes turned after they became famous. From Anna Nicole smith found dead of an overdays to Farrah Abraham whose sex tape became public to to tareq and Micha michaelasalahi. Bethenny Frankel had a whole show about her marriage. But the marriage didn't last long after the show. You're so worried about people thinking I'm this perfect husband. Does that bother you so much? Yes, it does. Then I'm done. I'm going through a brutal, brutal time. I think bethenny has hundreds of millions of dollars but understand this doesn't make you happy. Camille grammar was married to Kelsey Grammer. But the couple called it quits at the end of the first season. Camille Grammer is one of Bragg's clients. I always tell my clients that there's reality and there's reality TV and don't get the two confused. Reporter: But it's not just their love life that gets reality TV stars in trouble. With every move being documented by cameras -- Now that is how you carve a pumpkin. Reporter: It's all too easy to say something that gets you in hot water. "Duck dynasty" came under fire when their patriarch Phil robe Robertson said start with homosexual behavior and it morphs it from there. Bea beastiality, sleeping with this woman and that woman. He was suspended only to reinstate him after the family threatened to walk away from the hit show and the millions it brings them. It's A&E's biggest hit for sure. It's also spawned this whole multimillion dollar retail empire. Like the Robertson family, Teresa Giudice has turned the red hot of celebrity into a successful business. She sells everything from hair care to desserts to her favored bilini, which she calls a fabilini. She is the face, he is the salesman, working behind the scenes, they hope to make this their legacy. How does that feel, how far you've come? The reason why we're doing it is for our daughters. And yes, they can think about their future and what choices they have to make in their lives. Reporter: Tonight the Giudice family is grappling with the consequences of this guilty plea. This can bring you closer or drift you apart. In this case, and I've spent a lot of time with Joe and Teresa, it's brought them closer together. Teresa and Joe have four daughters. Gia, Gabriella, alia and Adriana. The older 13, the youngest 4. It's a lot of pressure when you're trying to make your kids feel safe. How do you do it? I'm a role model for them. I can't just be upset and crawl up into a ball and lock the door. Reporter: When the door is shut and when they are in bed, do you get to do that? Yes. And I do do that. I would be lying to say I didn't. Reporter: As a convicted felon, Joe, who was born in Italy and is not a U.S. Citizen could face deportation. Have you two talk the about what that might mean for your family? I've been married to Joe for 14 years. He's been here his whole life. So I guess that's something that his attorney is going to deal with. Reporter: Today their attorney said he would fight any attempt to deport the father of 4. I think it would be a grave injustice for him to be deported. It would be inhumane to the children and Teresa for him to be deported. Reporter: Joe is facing up to 46 months in prison. Teresa, up to 27 months, something they always knew was a possibility. Obviously, you have a lot of uncertainties. Major legal issues what are you hoping for in terms of your future? Just get through all the bad stuff, you know what I mean? And looking forward to the future with, you know, my wife and kids. And there's days where, you know, you feel a little depressed at times. But other than that, you stay strong and keep moving forward. If you keep thinking about it, it will kill you. Reporter: Can you see a day when that storm has passed? Eventually that day will come. The sooner the better. Reporter: One day at a time? One day at a time. Our thanks to Amy robach for that report.

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

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