HOLLYWOOD—The stars of the USA reality series, “Chrisley Knows Best,” Todd Chrisley, 54, and his wife Julie Chrisley, 49, were sentenced to federal prison time on Monday, November 21 after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, brank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and tax evasion in June 2022. Todd was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while Julie was sentenced to 7 years. Both received an additional 16 months of probation each and were ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined later. Both Todd and Julie faced up to 30 years in federal prison.
“Over the course of a decade, the defendant’s defrauded banks out of tens of millions of dollars while evading payment of their federal income taxes,” stated U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Their lengthy sentences reflect the magnitude of their criminal scheme and should serve as a warning to others tempted to exploit our nations’ community banking system for unlawful personal gain.”
“The Chrisleys defrauded financial institutions and the Federal Government through tax evasion and other fraudulent means in an effort to minimize their tax liability, but project an image of wealth,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “This sentencing serves notice that no matter a person’s celebrity status, there are severe consequences for defrauding the American tax system.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office reported that Todd and Julie conspired to defraud community banks in the Atlanta region to obtain over $36 million in personal loans. They collaborated with their former business partner to submit false bank statements, audit reports, and personal financial statements to Georgia community banks to obtain the loans. They used the money to purchase luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate and travel and use the new fraudulent loans to pay back the old ones. After spending the funds, Todd filed for bankruptcy and walked away from over $20 million in the fraudulently obtained loans.
Todd and Julie starred on the USA reality series, “Chrisley Knows Best” which has aired for more than 9 seasons on the network since its debut in 2014. The series spawned the spinoff, “Growing Up Chrisley” starring Todd and Julie’s children, Chase and Savannah. The series was picked up for a 10th season by USA, with some episodes shot before the trial. A determination on rather the season will air has not been announced by USA.
The couple with the help of their accountant, Peter Tarantino, conspired to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. During the conspiracy, they operated a loan-out company, to evade collection of the half a million dollars in delinquent taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, the husband and wife opened a kept the corporate bank accounts in Julie’s name only. When contact by the IRS for the requested information about the bank accounts in Julie’s name, they transferred the ownership of the corporate bank account to a relative to further conceal their income from the IRS.
Todd and Julie failed to file tax returns to pay any taxes from the 2013, 2014, 2015 or 2016 tax years. Tarantino was convicted of filing two false corporate tax returns for the loan-out company, which falsely claimed that the company earned no money and made no distributions in 2015 and 2016. They attempted to obstruct justice before being charged during their trail, but submitting a fraudulent document in response to the grand jury subpoena during the grand jury investigation, noting they did not lie to the bank when transferring ownership of the loan-out company’s bank account to their relative.
The couple was first indicated in August 2019, where they denied charges levied against them. On June 7, 2022, the couple was convicted on all counts of a superseding indictment. Julie was convicted of an additional charge of obstruction of justice. Tarantino was also convicted of multiple tax-related violations.
Todd and Julie’s son, Grayson was reported by TMZ as getting into a car accident in Nashville, Tennessee. The 16 year-old was involved in the crash on Saturday, November 19, where he rear-ended another truck on I-65 and he had to be rushed to the hospital to be treated for injuries he sustained.