ATLANTA, GA — Todd and Julie Chrisley, stars of the reality show “Chrisley Knows Best,” were charged with tax evasion and bank fraud Tuesday in Atlanta.
The Chrisleys were first charged in August last year, and a second charge was in February this year. According to Ryan Buchanan, the office of U.S. Attorney, their trial began three weeks ago, and a jury convicted them guilty on Tuesday of conspiring to defraud community banks out of more than $30 million in bogus loans. Julie Chrisley was found guilty of wire fraud and obstruction of justice, and they were also found guilty of conspiracy to cheat the IRS and tax evasion.
Todd Chrisley’s attorney, Bruce Morris, expressed disappointment with the conviction and stated that he plans to appeal.
The Chrisleys allegedly submitted forged documents to banks while requesting loans, according to prosecutors. When Julie Chrisley tried to rent a house in California, she allegedly filed a bogus credit report and fake bank statements.
Prosecutors claim they utilized a firm they owned to disguise revenue in order to prevent the IRS from collecting delinquent taxes owed by Todd Chrisley.
The Chrisleys were released on bond after being found guilty by U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross. She did, however, put them on location monitoring and home detention, which means they can only leave the house for reasons like work, medical appointments, and court appearances.
According to the order entered Tuesday, they must also notify their probation officials if they spend more than $1,000.
An accountant employed by the couple was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and knowingly filing false tax returns. On bail, he is also free.
The three will be sentenced on Oct. 6.
“Chrisley Knows Best” chronicles the Chrisley family, which is close-knit and raucous. The sitcom was recently renewed for a tenth season by the USA, while the spinoff “Growing Up Chrisley,” which follows Chrisley kids Chase and Savannah as they grow up in Los Angeles, was just renewed for the fourth season; by E!
The trial began in mid-May, days after E! announced that Todd Chrisley would host a new dating series called “Love Limo.”
“As today’s verdict demonstrates, when you lie, cheat, and steal, justice is blind to your fame, riches, and position,” FBI Atlanta Special Agent Keri Farley said in a statement. “In the end, the judgment of guilty on all counts for the three defendants shows that financial crimes do not pay if they are motivated by greed.”
Prosecutors claim that before becoming reality television stars, the Chrisleys and a former business partner submitted phony documents to Atlanta-area banks in order to collect millions of dollars in fraudulent loans.
They allegedly spent lavishly on luxury automobiles, designer clothing, real estate, and travel, as well as taking out new fraudulent loans to pay off existing ones. Todd Chrisley then filed for bankruptcy, avoiding more than $20 million in loans, according to authorities.
Julie Chrisley allegedly prepared phony financial documents to rent a property in Los Angeles while her husband was in bankruptcy proceedings, according to prosecutors. They neglected to pay rent after moving in, and the property owner launched an eviction complaint against them.
The Chrisleys began starring in their reality program about the time Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy. It was first recorded in Atlanta and afterward in Nashville.
Prosecutors claim they made millions from the show and colluded with Tarantino to deceive the IRS.
Prosecutors said they used a loan-out firm to collect money from the show and other projects and retained the corporate bank accounts in Julie Chrisley’s name to avoid paying Todd Chrisley half a million dollars in overdue taxes. According to police, when the IRS requested information on the bank accounts, they transferred ownership to Todd Chrisley’s mother in order to further conceal his income from the IRS.
Despite Todd Chrisley boasting on a radio show that he paid $750,000 to $1 million in federal income taxes per year, prosecutors said the pair failed to submit tax returns or pay taxes for numerous years.
According to authorities, Tarantino submitted two fake corporate tax returns for the loan-out company in 2015 and 2016, falsely claiming that it earned no money and made no distributions.
Prosecutors claim Julie Chrisley submitted a phony document in answer to a grand jury subpoena to make it appear like the Chrisleys didn’t mislead the bank when they transferred the ownership of the loan-out company to her mother-in-law.