Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley could spend decades in prison for defrauding banks out of millions of dollars to fund their lavish lifestyle and then obstructing the IRS investigation.
The ‘Chrisley Knows Best’ couple will learn their fate next week after being found guilty in June of a years-long tax and banking fraud conspiracy that allowed them to borrow $30 million by inflating their earnings.
New court documents filed Monday and obtained by WSB-TV included a memo in which prosecutors recommend a ‘lengthy period of incarceration’ for the couple.
Todd Chrisley, 53, faces between 17 and 22 years in prison while Julie Chrisley, 49, faces between 10 and 13 years.
The Chrisleys maintain they did nothing wrong, have referred to their conviction as a ‘shakedown’, and claimed they are the victim of a dishonest ex-employee.
Their sentencing is scheduled for November 21.
Reality TV stars Todd, 53, and Julie Chrisley, 49, could face up to 22 years in prison for defrauding banks out of millions of dollars to fund their lavish lifestyle
The sentencing memo filed on Monday by prosecutors recommend a ‘lengthy period of incarceration’ for the couple.
‘The seriousness of the Chrisleys’ crimes cannot be understated. After they defrauded community banks out of tens of millions of dollars, they hid millions of dollars from the IRS, all while going on television to boast about how much they spend on designer clothes,’ prosecutors wrote.
‘And when they learned that they were under investigation for those crimes, they involved their own family members and friends to obstruct justice.’
It continued: ‘The seriousness of their actions is further underscored by the fact that neither defendant has expressed remorse for their crimes, instead continuing to blame others for their own criminal conduct.’
The couple is known for their hit show Chrisley Knows Best, which depicts their seemingly picture-perfect southern lifestyle, and is USA Network’s most watched original series.
They have been married 26 years and share five children: Lindsie, 32; Kyle, 30; Chase, 25; Savannah, 24; and Grayson, 16.
Prosecutors alleged the couple took out $30 million in fraudulent bank loans to fund their lifestyle even before the their show became a hit.
They then used a film production company they controlled to hide income to keep the IRS from collecting unpaid taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, prosecutors said.
In June, Todd was found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax fraud.
Julie was found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax fraud, wire fraud.
But before being given a reality TV show, Todd was a successful Georgia real estate entrepreneur. The show began in 2014 and continues to air on the USA Network, despite their conviction. They also continue to run their lucrative Apple podcast, Chrisley Confessions.
The family is best known for their reality show Chrisley Knows Best, which started in 2014 and is currently still on. Pictured: (l-r) Faye Chrisley, Lindsie Chrisley Campbell, Grayson Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Chase Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley
Todd and Julie (pictured) maintain they did nothing wrong, have referred to their conviction as a ‘shakedown’, and claimed they are the victim of a dishonest ex-employee
Mark Braddock, a 53-year-old married ex-employee, told a jury that not only did he help the couple with their scheme, but that he and Todd also had a gay affair
The couple were brought down in part by the testimony of Mark Braddock, a 53-year-old married ex-employee who told a jury that not only did he help the couple with their scheme, but that he and Todd also had a gay affair.
During the trial, it was revealed that Todd Chrisley had a gay affair with his business partner who helped him commit fraud before tipping off cops after their romance went sour.
Chrisley shacked up with Mark Braddock in the early 2000s before breaking it off, a judge in Atlanta was told.
Braddock testified that after the affair ended the pair stayed friends and formed a ‘brotherhood.’
Braddock, who had to tell his own wife about the affair before testifying, turned the Chrisleys into the FBI for tax fraud and told the jury he did not want to be talking about his affair. Braddock has also been granted immunity.
After the affair ended, while Chrisley’s former flame worked at Chrisley Asset Management, he claims an anonymous source sent text messages threatening to expose the relationship and his boss’ fraud.
The alleged texts said: ‘Pay cash and we’ll shut up.’
Todd Chrisley and Braddock ended up paying their blackmailer $38,000, which Braddock withdrew from the bank in four $9,500 payments, before meeting Todd Chrisley in a parking garage.
He handed over the large amounts of cash ‘in a little bag’ for Todd Chrisley to pay the blackmailer, he testified.
The couple’s multimillion dollar home in Nashville. Their show depicts their seemingly picture-perfect southern lifestyle
After the Chrisleys were accused by the FBI of tax evasion, Braddock told jurors his feelings for Todd Chrisley convinced him to help them commit fraud, he testified.
The former employee created fake tax documents for the reality star and submitted them to banks and impersonated Todd Chrisley in emails and phone calls, Insider reported.
After the two had a falling out, Braddock reportedly wanted to get back at his former lover and created fake email accounts to report the Chrisleys’ criminal behavior to government and news agencies.
In his opening statements, Chrisley’s lawyer Bruce Morris accused Braddock of thinking he was Todd Chrisley and had an ‘obsession’ with him.
Braddock has denied these claims. He also said the only time he’d been with a man was with Todd Chrisley.
Chrisley had publicly addressed rumors about his sexuality in 2017, telling the Domenick Nati Show that the rumors didn’t ‘bother’ him.
He didn’t deny claims he is gay.
‘In order for it to disappoint me, it would mean that I don’t agree with someone being gay.
‘I don’t believe that’s a choice that you make. I believe that you are the way that God has made you,’ he said on the show at the time.
‘I’m flattered that people think I can get laid on both ends. So, that doesn’t bother me.
Todd and Julie are pictured at the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards in 2017
‘And my wife certainly is flattered that as many men want her husband as there are women.
‘With that being said, I’m never going to have a drought. You on the other hand might. But Todd will never have a drought.’
Their accountant, Peter Tarantino, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully filing false tax returns
Todd and Julie’s former attorney Peter Tarantino was also convicted. He was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully filing false tax returns.
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, and then the couple refused to pay rent a few months after they started using the home.
They used a film production company they controlled to hide income to keep the IRS from collecting unpaid taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, prosecutors said.