Reality TV Stars Get Lengthy Sentences

Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best gets 12 years behind bars; his wife, Julie, gets 7
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2022 12:33 AM CST
Updated Nov 22, 2022 3:03 AM CST
Chrisley Knows Best Stars Sentenced in Fraud Case
Todd Chrisley, left, 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)

Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were sentenced Monday to lengthy prison terms after being convicted in June on charges including bank fraud, tax evasion, and conspiring to defraud the IRS, the AP reports. US District Judge Eleanor Ross in Atlanta gave Todd Chrisley 12 years in prison plus 16 months of probation, while Julie Chrisley got seven years behind bars and 16 months of probation, news outlets reported. The Chrisleys gained fame with their show Chrisley Knows Best, which follows their tight-knit, boisterous family. Federal prosecutors said the couple engaged in an extensive bank fraud scheme and then hid their wealth from tax authorities while flaunting their lavish lifestyle.

“The Chrisleys have built an empire based on the lie that their wealth came from dedication and hard work,” prosecutors wrote. “The jury's unanimous verdict sets the record straight: Todd and Julie Chrisley are career swindlers who have made a living by jumping from one fraud scheme to another, lying to banks, stiffing vendors, and evading taxes at every corner.” Todd Chrisley's attorneys had argued in a court filing that he should not face more than nine years in prison. Julie Chrisley's lawyers said a reasonable sentence for her would be probation with special conditions and no prison time. In addition to the above charges, she was also convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Julie Chrisley's lawyers contended that she played a minimal role in the conspiracy and was not involved when the loans discussed in sentencing documents were obtained. She has no prior convictions, is an asset to her community and has “extraordinary family obligations,” including acting as the primary caregiver to her ailing mother-in-law, they argued. Todd Chrisley's lawyers also argued that people who rely on him—including his mother and the many people employed by his television shows—will be harmed while he's in prison. The Chrisleys have three children together, including one who is 16, and also full custody of the 10-year-old daughter of Todd Chrisley's son from a prior marriage.

(Read more reality shows stories.)

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