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8 ‘Real Housewives’ stars who have faced tax and fraud problems

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Being a reality TV star isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Many stars from the various “Real Housewives” franchises on Bravo have come to learn that having all eyes on you means more scrutiny and more financial woes, not necessarily more cash.

From Beverly Hills to New Jersey, these celebs have faced everything from tax liens to prison sentences.

Check out the list below:

Erika Jayne

Erika Jayne (L) and her estranged husband Tom Girardi are in deep financial trouble.  (Getty / Getty Images)

The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star is currently in deep legal trouble. The performer is accused of hiding assets in a bankruptcy lawsuit against her estranged husband Tom Girardi.

The former couple and his law firm, Girardi Keese, were accused in a federal lawsuit of embezzling millions of dollars intended for airplane crash victims’ families to fund their rich and famous lifestyle.

In the embezzlement lawsuit filed last December obtained by Fox News, attorneys for plaintiff Edelson PC, a law firm based in Illinois that represents corporate clients, accused Jayne and Girardi of incessantly bragging about their wealth, including their use of private jets and lavish gifts to one another, such as a $5,000 toilet and the reality TV star’s $250,000 Lamborghini.


Edelson PC targets the estranged pair’s recent divorce announcement specifically, calling it a “sham.” The lawsuit alleges the divorce is being used “to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money from those that seek to collect on debts owed by Tom and his law firm GK [Girardi Keese].”

Dorit and PK Kemsley

The ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ star and her husband, PK, a talent manager, are accused of owing $1.3 million in unpaid taxes.  (Jesse Grant/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star and her husband, PK, a talent manager, are accused of owing $1.3 million in unpaid taxes.

According to docs obtained by The Sun, PK allegedly has two tax liens for $293,222 and $289,423, filed against him from 2015 and 2018, respectively.

Another document states that the couple allegedly owes $635,887 to the IRS and Dorit, herself, owes $90,269 to the State of California.

Teresa and Joe Giudice

Teresa Giudice, star of ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey,’ and her now-ex-husband Joe Giudice in 2016. (Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star and her ex-husband both served prison time for their financial crimes.

The Giudices pleaded guilty in 2014 to three counts of bankruptcy fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Joe Giudice also pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file a tax return.


Teresa Giudice was sentenced in October 2014 to 15 months in prison and was released in December 2015. Joe served a 41-month prison sentence for fraud and a judge ruled in October 2018 that he would be deported to his native Italy upon completion of his prison sentence.

Joe has said he came to the U.S. as an infant and wasn’t aware he wasn’t an American citizen.

Jen Shah

Jen Shah of ‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.’ (Chad Kirkland/Bravo)

The “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star was arrested in March on federal fraud charges alleging she and an associate, Stuart Smith, cheated hundreds of people nationwide over a 10-year period in a telemarketing scheme.


In the alleged scheme, Shah and Smith sold the victims so-called business services such as tax preparation or website designs that they touted as a way to make the people’s companies more efficient and profitable, prosecutors say in the indictment. Many of the victims were over 55 and didn’t own computers. They carried out the scheme from 2012-2021, prosecutors say.

Shah and Smith tried to hide their role in the scheme by using third-party names for their business entities, telling victims to use encrypted messages to communicate with them and instructing people to send some payments to offshore bank accounts, the indictment says.

Karen and Ray Huger

Raymond Huger and wife Karen Huger from ‘The Real Housewives of Potomac.’ (Heidi Gutman/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The “Real Housewives of Potomac” star and her husband owed nearly $1.5 million in back-due federal taxes, a report in July 2017 from The Washington Post revealed.

Meanwhile, Ray, through his software company, owed more than $3 million. In 2018, Karen told Bravo that all their financial business was settled.

NeNe Leakes

NeNe Leakes was a cast member on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta.’ (Tommy Garcia/Bravo)

In 2016, the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” alum was hit with a federal tax lien from the IRS that totaled more than $820,000.

The lien stems from the 2014 tax year during which Leakes starred on the show, launched an HSN clothing line, and competed in “Dancing with the Stars.”

Margaret Josephs

Margaret Josephs of ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey.’ (Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In 2018, a report claimed that the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star owed $189,342.89 in back taxes from 2012, and additionally $7,724.09 from 2014.

Back in 2014, Josephs and her company, Macbeth Collection, were sued for $12 million for alleged “trademark infringement” by the clothing company Vineyard Vines. The reality TV star was allegedly ordered to pay $300,000 in damages to settle the case.

Kelly Dodd

Kelly Dodd will not be returning to ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County.’ (Arturo Holmes/WireImage)

According to documents obtained by The Blast, the “Real Housewives of Orange County” alum was slapped with a tax lien from the IRS.

The document accuses Dodd and her ex-husband, Michael, of owing taxes for 2015 and 2016 of almost $24,000.

The couple was married from 2006 to 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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