But Joe has a lot more than the charges (and over 50 years in prison) he’s facing. Given that the reality star, unlike his wife, isn’t a U.S. citizen, he could also be deported — a possibility that’s weighting on him, according to his attorney.
“It’s natural to worry, but he’s worried not as much for himself but for Teresa and his family,” Miles Feinstein told Celebuzz. “He’s mainly concerned about Teresa and the kids and his family and staying in the country with them.
“If he was even found guilty on one of the 39 charges, that might deport him,” including mortgage fraud and bankruptcy fraud, revealed Feinstein, adding that the charge stemming from Joe’s failure to file his tax returns from 2004 to 2008 are “probably not deportable.”
Joe is also facing state charges of fraud in which he’s been accused of obtaining a driver’s license using his brother’s name. Those allegations also make it more of a reality that the 43-year-old father of four may be asked to leave the U.S.
“Sometimes you see it on the Real Housewives [of New Jersey] and sometimes you don’t, but they support each other and love each other. And they love their kids tremendously,” said Feinstein.
Joe’s attorney tries to explain why his client has been in the country his whole life without becoming a naturalized citizen.
“Joe has an Italian passport, not a U.S. passport. He came to his country when he was one year old. Because his family I suppose didn’t realize they should have done something.
“He came when he was one so I assume they thought he was a citizen.
“It would be a shame one way or another if he was deported since he’s been here since that young age. It’s unfortunate that he wasn’t naturalized.”
For now, the often financially troubled TV pair — who withdrew bankruptcy in 2011 after claiming $11 million in debts — have been released on their own recognizance despite the whopping $500K bond each that was set during their first court appearance on the federal charges July 30.
“People have thought they had to put up half a million dollars, but they didn’t have to put up a thing, no house, nothing,” explained Feinstein. “No property, bonds, no money.
“It was equivalent of bail but no bail.”
But they better show up in court or they’ll be the hefty price to pay.
“It’s to ensure the person’s presence in court every time. They would be responsible for $500,000 each if they didn’t show up in court,” he added.
“Their roots, family and kids are here so they are going to be there.”