Chrisley DID NOT know best! Todd and Julie Chrisley could face 30 YEARS in prison
The couple's accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also found guilty on related charges, including aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns
The stars of 'Chrisley Knows Best', a reality TV show in which the couple project themselves as multimillionaire real estate developers were convicted on Tuesday, June 7, of conspiring to defraud banks out of $30 million and avoiding years of tax bills, the Department of Justice said. After a three-week trial in Federal District Court in Atlanta, a jury found the Chrisleys guilty on all counts — jointly, eight counts of financial fraud and two counts of tax evasion. According to a court clerk for the northern district of Georgia, the couple’s accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also found guilty on a series of related charges — including aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns for the Chrisley's company. The jury also found Julie Chrisley guilty of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
“The jury found that Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley committed multiple fraud schemes for several years and their accountant, Peter Tarantino, filed false corporate tax returns on their behalf,” said US Attorney Ryan K Buchanan. “This office and our partner agencies will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute white-collar criminals who flout the law.” “When you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position,” Keri Farley, special agent in charge of the F.B.I. in Atlanta, said in a statement. “In the end, when driven by greed, the verdict of guilty on all counts for these three defendants proves once again that financial crimes do not pay", the statement further read.
All three were indicted back in 2019 with prosecutors claiming they defrauded banks by obtaining millions of dollars in loans. The US Attorney's Office also said they cheated the government by actively evading federal income taxes. According to prosecutors, Todd and Julie ran the scheme from 2007 through 2012, allegedly fabricating documents and providing false information to banks when applying for and receiving millions of dollars in loans which they allegedly used to fund their lavish lifestyle.
According to the 2019 indictment, Todd worked with a partner to make it look like one of his bank accounts at Merrill Lynch had $4 million, when they actually didn't even have an account at that bank at the time. The Chrisleys directed their attorney Todd to perform actions of defrauding and forging the documents.
The feds said Todd emailed his partner, "You are a f***ing genius [sic]!!!! Just make it show 4 mil+." However, the couple didn't plead guilty to tax evasion and other federal charges at that time. And, were released on a $100,000 unsecured bond. They were also made to give up their passports and are not permitted to travel outside parts of Georgia and Tennessee.
The Chrisleys, with the help of their former business partner, submitted false bank statements, audit reports, and personal financial statements to banks to obtain millions of dollars in fraudulent loans. And, the couple used money from loans for “luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate, and travel,” the Department of Justice said, even as they also filed for bankruptcy and walked away from more than $20 million in loans. They did not pay the Internal Revenue Service in a timely manner for the 2013 through 2016 tax years, the indictment said.
A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled. The 'Chrisley Knows Best' stars currently remain free on bond. It's reported they could face up to 30 years behind bars. US Judge Eleanor L Ross of the Northern District of Georgia set sentencing for Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 9.30 am. Chrisley's attorney, Bruce Howard Morris wrote in an email on the behalf of the couple that they plan to appeal the jury’s decision. “We are disappointed in the verdict,” Morris said.