Todd and Julie Chrisley will serve at least '85% of their sentence' even if they're model inmates, says expert

'Best-case scenario is that they can stagger their sentence … but that's as good as it's going to get,' said former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani

Todd and Julie Chrisley will serve at least '85% of their sentence' even if they're model inmates, says expert
Julie Chrisley and Todd Chrisley photographed at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on January 16, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA: A legal expert has predicted that reality TV stars Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley will likely serve the majority of their years-long prison sentences handed down by a judge. The embroiled couple is expected to report to prison at the start of the New Year.

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Todd, 54, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Monday, November 21, for bank fraud and tax evasion. His wife Julie, 49, was sentenced to seven years for her involvement in the same crimes. A news release from the Northern District of Georgia US Attorney's Office also revealed that both were sentenced to three years of supervised release to be completed after they have served their time in prison.

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Speaking to People about the 'Chrisley Knows Best' stars' fate, former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, Neama Rahmani, said the couple is expected to serve "at least 85% of their sentence." He continued, "And that's the minimum they're going to have to serve if they're model inmates. Unlike states where inmates can sometimes serve less than even half of their sentence, under federal statutes, you only get a slight reduction for good behavior."

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Todd and Julie are expected to report to prison at the beginning of the New Year, per The New York Times. Rahmani said that while the couple is expected to appeal the judge's decision, the process won't delay their report date and will probably be unsuccessful. "I think this shows a [level of] narcissism. There was so much evidence in those financial records," the former prosecutor offered. "The fact that they didn't accept any responsibility, even after they were convicted, is one of the reasons the judge hammered them, and they got such high sentences. They didn't take any steps to mitigate what they had done. So, they're going to roll the dice on an appeal. I don't think an appeal will be very successful, because there's no clear legal error. They have a very slim chance of winning," Rahmani added.

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TV personalities Todd Chrisley (L) and Julie Chrisley attend the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards at Toshiba Plaza on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
TV personalities Todd Chrisley (L) and Julie Chrisley attend the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards at Toshiba Plaza on April 2, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

As noted by People, Todd and Julie share adult children Chase, 26, and Savannah, 25. Meanwhile, Todd is also a father to Kyle, 31, and Lindsie, 33, from his previous marriage. However, the pair are primary caregivers to their son Grayson, 16, and their 10-year-old granddaughter Chloe. Considering, there are concerns about who will look after the underage children if both parents are forced to report to prison simultaneously. "The best-case scenario is that they can stagger their sentence … but that's as good as it's going to get for them," Rahmani told the magazine. He said that if they end up serving parallel sentences, they will also be forbidden from visiting each other at their respective correctional facilities. "That would be unprecedented," Rahmani opined.

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That said, the couple's lack of criminal history and low risk of violence will likely afford them a low-level security prison that offers a multitude of therapies, educational programs, and religious studies. "It's not going to be Club Med," Rahmani clarified. "That's a misconception, but it's going to be somewhat of a camp environment where they're going to be able to interact with other inmates," he added.

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A jury found the Chrisleys guilty in June of faking audits, bank statements, as well as their personal finances to obtain $36 million in loans. The couple subsequently splurged on "luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate, and travel — and used new fraudulent loans to pay back old ones," according to the US Attorney's Office news release. The 60-year-old, Peter Tarantino, the couple's accountant, was also convicted of tax-related violations and sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
 

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