Reality TV real estate tycoons and tax scofflaws Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley will have to report to federal prison later this month after their request for bail pending appeal was denied by a judge.
In June 2022, the stars of Chrisley Knows Best were convicted of numerous financial crimes, including “conspiring to defraud community banks out of more than $30 million of fraudulent loans.”
The loans were obtained by filing false bank statements, audit reports, and personal financial statements. Federal jurors also convicted the couple’s accountant, Peter Tarantino, on numerous, related crimes.
Once the cash hit their accounts, the Chrisleys spent the money on cars, clothes, real estate, and travel expenses – and then falsely obtained new loans to pay back some of the original ones. Ultimately, with the coffers just about drained, the TV stars filed for bankruptcy and pleaded poverty to escape paying back some $20 million.
The couple failed to file tax returns or pay their taxes in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, federal prosecutors in Georgia said in a case summary after their convictions. The couple also evaded “paying Todd Chrisley’s delinquent back taxes” even as they earned millions from their eponymous real estate-focused show that aired on the USA Network.
The show aired for nine seasons and spawned a spinoff, Growing Up Chrisley, before being canceled due to the scandal.
Prosecutors noted after the verdicts came down, at the height of his fame while being interviewed on a radio show, Todd Chrisley publicly complained and/or boasted of paying some $750,000 to $1 million per year in taxes.
Todd Chrisley, 54, was convicted on eight separate counts. Julie Chrisley, 50, was convicted on 10 separate counts.
In November 2022, U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross sentenced the husband to 12 years in prison. The wife received seven years.
In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors cast the celebrity couple as less than contrite about their monetary crimes.
“The Chrisleys have objected to nearly everything in their [pre-sentence reports],” the memo says. “Most of their objections are attempts to re-interpret the evidence from trial and re-argue that the testimony and evidence from their witnesses should be credited, despite the jury’s unanimous verdict.”
An entry on the federal docket shows that on Jan. 10, 2023, Ross denied the defendants’ motion for bail pending appeal and denied their “oral motion to extend their surrender date by 21 days.”
According to Atlanta-based Fox affiliate WAGA, Todd Chrisley will report to Federal Prison Camp Pensacola – a minimum-security prison in Florida. Julie Chrisley will report to Federal Correctional Institution, Mariana, a medium-security prison also located in the Sunshine State. The couple must surrender themselves by Jan. 17, 2023.
Their two prisons are roughly two hours apart.
[image via screengrab/WSB-TV]
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