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The stars of “Chrisley Knows Best” were sentenced on Monday to federal prison after being convicted for a slew of financial crimes in June.
Todd and Julie Chrisley were convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. In addition, Julie was also convicted on a charge of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
Judge Eleanor L. Ross of U.S. District Court in Atlanta sentenced Todd to 12 years in prison followed by three years of probation, CNN reported. Ross sentenced Julie to seven years in prison followed by three years of probation. In addition, the couple will have to pay restitution for their crimes, though the exact amount is unknown at this time, The New York Times reported.
Peter Tarantino, who worked as the couple’s accountant and was convicted of filing false corporate tax returns for the Chrisleys’ company, was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of probation.
Attorneys for the Chrisleys have argued for a reduced sentence, saying the couple has fully accounted for all their income and that many people – including Todd’s mother and the crew who worked on their reality television show – would be negatively impacted by their incarceration. The defense has requested Todd receive a combined sentence of limited incarceration and supervised release in addition to paying restitution. The defense has also argued for a new trial, claiming an IRS officer falsely testified and that the prosecution put her up to it.
Todd Chrisley made a fortune through Chrisley Asset Management, a real estate company he founded in Georgia, The Daily Wire previously reported. The success of the business combined with Todd’s personality and large family made him a perfect candidate for reality TV, which led to “Chrisley Knows Best.”
Even before the Chrisleys began their reality show in 2014, they had financial problems. In 2012, Todd filed for bankruptcy protection. Explaining the filing, his lawyer told People, “He guaranteed a real estate development loan and it failed. He was on the hook for $30 million. If he hadn’t had that happen, he would have been fine, financially.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ), however, explained that the Chrisleys — prior to their reality show — “conspired to defraud community banks in the Atlanta area to obtain more than $30 million in personal loans.”
With the help of a business partner, Mark Braddock, the Chrisleys “submitted false bank statements, audit reports, and personal financial statements to banks to obtain the millions of dollars in fraudulent loans,” the DOJ wrote.
In 2017, the couple’s problems expanded. WSB-TV reported at the time 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 a “former business partner” forged Todd’s name on the mortgage and made some payments on his behalf. Todd also claimed that the same business partner was the reason he had to file for bankruptcy protection in 2012.
In 2019, the Chrisleys were indicted. After a three-week trial in 2022, the couple was convicted.