Both of the Real Housewives of New Jersey stars could get jail time (Joe faces a potential sentence of 4 years while Teresa could get 2 years behind bars) and are scheduled to find out their fates at a July 8 sentencing.
But just what are the Bravo stars going to do in the meantime? Teresa and Joe's legal crisis consultant Wendy Feldman tells E! News exclusively just how the couple is "starting now" to prepare for sentencing.
"This includes all steps where Teresa and Joe will present their side to the government," Feldman explains. "We try to paint a picture of who they are as people. It's post conviction. What we do now is we show you the person, not the crime."
"It's up to the judge. It's the person not the crime," adds Feldman, noting that, "Teresa and Joe have great respect for the process."
The reality stars' legal proceedings are a "very unique circumstance," adds their crisis consultant. "There has never been a case of this magnitude involving a celebrity and his wife from a hit show. It could very well be a case of reverse celebrity justice."
Teresa and Joe pleaded not guilty in the summer of 2013 and were indicted months later on two additional counts of bank and loan application fraud. Now that the guilty pleas have been entered, though, the Montville-based stars are each owning up to four of the fraud charges stacked against them. Joe also plead guilty to one count of failure to file a tax return.
"Today, I took responsibility for a series of mistakes I made several years ago," Teresa, 41, said in a statement. "I have said throughout that I respect the legal process and thus I intend to address the court directly at sentencing. I will describe the choices I made, continue to take responsibility for my decisions, and express my remorse to Judge Salas and the public."
"I am heartbroken that this is affecting my family—especially my four young daughters, who mean more to me than anything in the world," said the mom of Gia, 13, Gabriella, 9, Milania, 8, and Audriana, 4. "Beyond this, I do not intend to speak specifically about the case outside of court, at the recommendation of my attorney and out of deference to the government and our legal system."
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)