The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jun. 8—Reality stars and former Georgia residents Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty on all counts of bank fraud and tax evasion by a federal jury Tuesday in downtown Atlanta.
The jury began deliberating on Friday afternoon and returned the verdict on Tuesday afternoon. Sentencing is set for Thursday, October 6 at 9:30 a.m. The Chrisleys could face up to 30 years in prison.
The trial began three weeks ago.
“As today’s outcome shows, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position,” said Keri Farley, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, in a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office. “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 couple released a statement through their attorneys: “Disappointed in the verdict. An appeal is planned.”
Federal prosecutors, who indicted the “Chrisley Knows Best” couple in 2019, said the Chrisleys deliberately “swindled” at least $30 million from community banks from 2007 to 2012 by inflating their net worth to get loans, purposely targeting smaller banks that did less due diligence than larger ones. Then Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy in 2012, erasing $20 million in loan debt.
Prosecuting attorney Annalise Peters alleged they then actively hid millions they made from the reality show, which began in 2014, as well as $500,000 in taxes Todd owed in 2009. They alleged that the couple actively evaded taxes going back to 2009.
7C’s Productions, a company the Chrisleys created after the reality show began, was entirely under Julie’s name, Peters said, so the IRS couldn’t access income to reduce the $500,000 Todd owed from 2009.
The Chrisleys were living in metro Atlanta during most of the alleged illegal activity but moved to Nashville in 2016.
Bruce H. Morris, an attorney representing Todd Chrisley, said in his opening statement that the Chrisleys were victims of a man named Mark Braddock, who oversaw his company, Chrisley Asset Management, and did all the defrauding without the couple’s knowledge until they fired him in 2012. Braddock then went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and received federal immunity in exchange for evidence against the Chrisleys, he said.
The US Attorney’s Office told the Channel 2 Acton News that the Chrisleys have not been remanded to jail.
“Chrisley Knows Best,” a comedic look at the lives of the Chrisley family, was an instant hit for USA Network when it debuted in 2014 and was recently renewed for a 10th season. An E! spinoff “Growing Up Chrisley,” featuring two Chrisley kids, Chase and Savannah, living in Los Angeles, was just renewed for a fourth season.
According to Entertainment Tonight, E! had already finished season 9 of “Chrisley Knows Best” and did not film during the trial. It’s unclear when USA will begin taping season 10.
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