The stars of "Chrisley Knows Best" were sentenced Monday to federal prison after being convicted in June of a string of financial crimes.
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 of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
Judge Eleanor L. Ross of the 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 must pay restitution for their crimes, though the exact amount is currently unknown, 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, stating that the couple fully accounted for all of 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 that 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 official gave false testimony and that prosecutors tricked them into it.
Todd Chrisley made a fortune through Chrisley Asset Management, a real estate firm he founded in Georgia, The Daily Wire previously reported. The success of the company combined with Todd's personality and large family made him a perfect candidate for reality TV, leading to "Chrisley Knows Best".
Even before the Chrisleys started their reality show in 2014, they were struggling financially. In 2012, Todd filed for bankruptcy protection. His attorney explained the request to People, "He guaranteed a real estate development loan and it failed. He was on the hook for $30 million. If this hadn't happened to him, he would have been fine financially."
However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that the Chrisleys – before 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 millions of dollars in fraudulent loans," the DOJ wrote.
In 2017, the couple's problems widened. WSB-TV reported at the time that the Chrisleys paid the state of Georgia taxes totaling nearly 800.000 dollars owed and had declared their residency in 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 in his name. Todd also claimed 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 of.