Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley face up to 30 years in prison each after being found guilty of bank fraud and tax evasion.
After a three-week trial in Atlanta, a federal jury began deliberating on Friday and on Tuesday found the Chrisley knows best stars guilty on all counts. The celebrity couple had been accused of inflating their net worth while applying for loans from smaller banks, which performed fewer checks than their larger counterparts, in order to secure more than $30 million in fraudulent loans. When Todd filed for bankruptcy in 2012, $20 million in debt was wiped out, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Chrisleys were also accused of dodging taxes as early as 2009, having him skip a $500,000 tax bill that year. The prosecutor had argued that once their US show started in 2016, they tried to hide the millions they made on it from the government. Their accountant, Peter Tarantino, was simultaneously convicted of filing false tax returns for them.
“As today’s result shows,” Keri Farley, FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge, said in a press release, “when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind to your fame, your fortune and your position. In the Finally, when motivated by greed, the verdict of guilty on all counts for these three defendants proves once again that financial crimes do not pay.”
Meanwhile, the couple’s lawyer, Bruce H. Morris, argued his clients were unaware that an employee overseeing Chrisley Asset Management had defrauded the government until 2012 when they fired him. The attorney alleged that this employee had since provided additional information about the Chrisleys to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in order to obtain federal immunity.
Yahoo Entertainment has contacted the Chrisleys for comment. They have always denied the charges against them.
The Associated Press reported that Morris planned to appeal and that the judge handling the case, U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross, allowed the Chrisleys to remain on bail. However, their location is now monitored to ensure they stay home except for valid reasons, such as court appearances, work or medical appointments. And they must inform their probation officers of expenses over $1,000.
The couple – whose show also features their blended family – previously made the Georgian capital their home, but moved to Nashville six years ago. In addition to their flagship show, the Chrisleys and their offspring have starred in a range of current and former projects, including television shows According to Chrisley and Growing up ChrisleyWeb series What’s Cooking with Julie Chrisleyas well as Todd and Julie’s podcast, Chrisley’s Confessions. Variety reported last month that E! gave the green light to love limoa speed-dating show that he will host and produce.
Sentencing for the Chrisleys and Tarantino has been set for October 6.