Todd and Julie Chrisley sentenced for bank fraud, tax evasion
Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were sentenced Monday to lengthy prison terms after being convicted earlier this year on charges including bank fraud and tax evasion.
U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross in Atlanta gave Todd Chrisley 12 years in prison, while Julie Chrisley got seven years behind bars, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta. Each of them will serve three years on supervised release and Ross ordered them to pay restitution in a amount to be determined later.
“The Chrisleys built an empire on the lie that hard work and dedication made them rich,” prosecutors wrote. “The unanimous verdict of the jury sets the record straight: Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley have made a living ripping off banks, vendors, and tax evaders by jumping from fraud scheme to another.
Federal prosecutors had previously said that the couple should each be sentenced to more than ten years in prison. The prosecutors stated that tax evasion was a serious offense and that wealthy tax cheats who use their personal companies to avoid paying taxes should be sent a message to the Chrisleys. “Finally, Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley’s arrogance deserves special consideration. “
The Chrisleys gained fame with their show “Chrisley Knows Best,” which follows their tight-knit, boisterous family. Federal prosecutors claim that the couple engaged in extensive bank fraud and then concealed their wealth from tax authorities while living lavishly.
Tod Chrisley’s lawyers had argued in court that he should not spend more than nine years in prison. Julie Chrisley’s lawyers suggested that a reasonable sentence would be probation with no prison time and special conditions.
The Chrisleys were convicted of bank fraud, tax fraud and conspiring to defraud IRS. Julie Chrisley was also convicted for wire fraud and obstruction. In a podcast episode released shortly after their convictions, Todd Chrisley said the it was a “heartbreaking time” for his family.
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in a June 2022 press release that Todd and Julie Chrisley conspired to defraud community banks in the Atlanta area to obtain more than $30 million in personal loans prior to the launch of their first television show in 2014. The Chrisleys and their ex-business partner made false documents to get the loans and spent the money on cars and real estate, as well as travel. Buchanan stated that they used new loans to repay the old ones.
Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy and was able to walk away from more than $20 million of the loans. Buchanan claims that he claimed he was bankrupt but that he and his family were making millions from their television show. The Chrisleys operated a loan-out company that is usually used by entertainment professionals. They also made money from their show and other entertainment ventures.
When the IRS asked them for information about their bank accounts they transferred the corporate account of their loan-out company to Todd Chrisley’s mom in an attempt to hide from the IRS. Buchanan stated that Todd Chrisley was operating the loan-out business behind the scenes.
” The Chrisleys are exceptional due to the wide-ranging fraud they committed and the extent to that they engaged in fraud and obstruction for a long time,” prosecutors stated.
The couple’s accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also found guilty of conspiring to defraud the IRS and filing two false corporate tax returns on behalf of the Chrisleys’ company. The prosecutors claimed that “most tax cheaters attempt to keep a low profile while avoiding detection by the IRS,” but the Chrisleys did exactly the opposite.
“In 2013, while Todd was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings, the Chrisleys filmed a promotional video for their new reality show about their extravagant lifestyle. In the video, Todd boasted that he ‘make[s] millions of dollars a year,’ and in another shot where he is standing in his walk-in closet in his expansive house, he bragged that ‘in a year, we probably spend over $300,000, sometimes more, just on clothing. ‘”
The Chrisleys have three children together and full custody of the 10-year-old daughter of Todd Chrisley’s son from a prior marriage. One of the couple’s children, Grayson Chrisley, 16, was hospitalized earlier this month after a car accident on Nov. 12.
According to a report from Metropolitan Nashville Police Department that was obtained by CBS News, Grayson Chrisley rear-ended another vehicle on Interstate 65. The other driver suffered injuries, but refused to be taken by ambulance at the scene. According to the department, Chrisley was “unable recall anything from the accident. This could be due to a brain injury.” He was taken to the hospital via ambulance.
Although the crash occurred more than a week ago it didn’t make the news until this week when TMZ reported on it.
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