Reality TV Stars Guilty of Fraud, Tax Evasion

Todd, Julie Chrisley will be sentenced in October
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 7, 2022 7:34 PM CDT
Chrisley Knows Best Stars Guilty of Tax Evasion, Fraud
Todd Chrisley and his wife, Julie Chrisley, pose for photos at the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 2, 2017, in Las Vegas.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Todd and Julie Chrisley, stars of the reality television show Chrisley Knows Best, were found guilty Tuesday in Atlanta on federal charges including bank fraud and tax evasion. The Chrisleys were initially indicted in August 2019 and a new indictment was filed in February of this year. Their trial began three weeks ago, and a jury on Tuesday found them guilty of conspiring to defraud community banks out of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans, according to the office of US Attorney Ryan Buchanan in Atlanta. They were also found guilty of conspiring to defraud the IRS and tax evasion, and Julie Chrisley was convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice, the AP reports.

Bruce Morris, an attorney for Todd Chrisley, said he was disappointed with the verdict and expects to appeal. Prosecutors alleged that the Chrisleys submitted fake documents to banks when applying for loans. They said Julie Chrisley also submitted a false credit report and fake bank statements when trying to rent a house in California. They used a company they controlled to hide income to keep the IRS from collecting unpaid taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, prosecutors said. After they were found guilty, US District Judge Eleanor Ross allowed the Chrisleys to remain free on bond. But she placed them on location monitoring and home detention, meaning they can only leave the house for certain reasons, including work, medical appointments, and court appearances.

Peter Tarantino, an accountant hired by the couple, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully filing false tax returns, the US attorney's office in Atlanta said. Sentencing for all three is set for Oct. 6. Chrisley Knows Best follows the tight-knit, boisterous Chrisley family. The series was just renewed by USA for a 10th season. The trial began in mid-May, days after E! announced that it was moving forward with a new dating series, Love Limo, hosted by Todd Chrisley. "As today’s outcome shows, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position,” Special Agent Keri Farley, head of the FBI Atlanta, said in a statement.

(More tax evasion stories.)

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