Todd and Julie Chrisley seemed to have it all: Money, a loving family, and a popular reality TV show called “Chrisley Knows Best.”
But behind the scenes, things weren’t so perfect. The couple, now on trial for multiple fraud charges, claim they were set up by a former business partner. A former employee has now testified that she was instructed to commit financial fraud in order to destroy the Chrisley’s lives, Insider reported.
Even before the Chrisley’s began their reality TV show in 2014, they had financial problems. In 2012, Todd filed for bankruptcy protection, with his lawyer telling People at the time that the filing was due to a failed real estate development loan. Todd, a real estate mogul, originally filed in Florida, even though he had never lived there, WSB-TV reported in 2017. The filing was eventually moved to Georgia.
The outlet reported that Julie admitted in taped deposition, under oath, that the family didn’t live in Florida, and one of their sons, Kyle, claimed his dad bragged about not living in the state.
“I think he’s trying to hide money,” Kyle Chrisley told the outlet. “He doesn’t like to pay what he owes.”
WSB-TV also reported that the Chrisleys owed nearly $800,000 in taxes to the state of Georgia and had declared their residency on numerous public records before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2016.
In 2018, Todd sued Homebanc Mortgage Corporation, Radar Online reported, alleging his former business partner, Mark Braddock, forged Chrisley’s name on the mortgage and made some payments on his behalf.
“Plaintiff did not sign the Mortgage or the accompanying documents and the same contains a forgery of Plaintiff’s name,” Todd alleged court documents, according to the outlet. “Plaintiff believes that a former business partner signed his name on the Mortgage and made various payments on the Mortgage on his behalf.”
Todd also claimed that this same business partner is the reason he had to file for bankruptcy protection in 2012.
In 2019, the Chrisleys were indicted “on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and tax evasion,” Insider reported. Chrisley blamed “a trusted employee” for the family’s problems.
“It all started back in 2012, when we discovered that a trusted employee of ours had been stealing from us big time. I won’t go into details, but it involved all kinds of really bad stuff like creating phony documents, forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything,” Todd wrote on Instagram in August 2019. “We even discovered that he illegally bugged our home.”
Todd said that to “get revenge,” Braddock “took a bunch of his phony documents to the U.S. Attorney’s office and told them we had committed all kinds of financial crimes, like tax evasion and bank fraud.” Todd said that they explained the situation and the U.S. Attorney’s office stopped pursuing the case, but Braddock took the information to a different set of investigators, who reopened the case and granted him immunity in exchange for his testimony.
At the time, Todd said he expected to be indicted, and he was.
He and his wife have now been on trial for two weeks, and on Tuesday, a woman who worked at Todd’s asset management company testified that Braddock directed her to commit financial fraud to destroy Todd, Insider reported.
Donna Cash testified that Braddock had her send fake financial documents to loan companies and lied about the companies, but said she stopped following his orders when the Chrisleys were about to lose their home.
“I did some bad things but that was one thing I wasn’t going to do,” Cash testified, adding that she called Todd to come back from vacation early so he wouldn’t come home to a foreclosed house.
She further testified that “both Mark and I were lying to [Todd] about everything that was going on.”
Todd reportedly started investigating the situation, using Cash to keep him informed about Braddock’s deeds, Insider reported.
Braddock has claimed that he committed the fraud at Todd’s direction.