The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATLANTA — Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were sentenced to prison in federal court Monday.
Todd Chrisley was sentenced to 12 years in prison plus 16 months of probation, while Julie was sentenced to seven years in prison and 16 months of probation, Channel 2 Action News reported.
The “Chrisley Knows Best” couple was found guilty on all counts of bank fraud and tax evasion by a federal jury in June. The Chrisleys faced up to 30 years in prison.
Peter Tarantino, the couple’s accountant, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and will surrender May 1 after hip surgery, Insider reported. Tarantino was convicted in June for conspiracy to defraud the IRS and two counts of willfully filing false tax returns.
The couple filed a joint motion for a new trial in August, arguing the court had knowingly used perjured testimony from an IRS revenue officer, failed to disclose materially exculpatory evidence and improperly denied their belated motion to suppress evidence as untimely.
On Oct. 3, prosecutors filed a motion asking the court to deny the Chrisleys’ motion for a new trial. Sentencing was originally set for that week on Oct. 6 in federal court but was rescheduled for Nov. 21.
According to a sentencing memorandum obtained last week by Channel 2, Todd Chrisley faced between 17 and 22 years in prison, and Julie Chrisley faced 10 to 13 years. The document asked for more than $17 million to be paid in restitution.
“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 of FBI Atlanta, in a statement released from the U.S. Attorney’s Office following the guilty verdict. “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.”
Through their attorneys, the couple released a statement following the verdict expressing disappointment and that an appeal was planned.
Prosecutors argued 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, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Todd Chrisley later filed for bankruptcy in 2012, erasing $20 million in loan debt.
Prosecutors also alleged the couple actively hid millions they made from their reality show, which began in 2014, as well as $500,000 in taxes Todd Chrisley owed in 2009. The couple are alleged to have actively evaded taxes going back to 2009, the AJC reported.
At the time of most of the alleged illegal activity, the Chrisleys were living in metro Atlanta before moving to Nashville in 2016.
An attorney representing Todd Chrisley argued in his opening statement that the couple were actually victims of Mark Braddock, who oversaw Chrisley Asset Management and did all the defrauding without the couple’s knowledge until he was fired in 2012. Braddock received federal immunity from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in exchange for evidence against the Chrisleys, the attorney said.
The Chrisleys were free on bond but were placed on location monitoring and home detention while they awaited sentencing.
The couple’s 16-year-old son, Grayson Chrisley, was taken to the hospital this month after being involved in a car accident, Channel 2 reported. He was driving northbound on I-65 when he hit a car that was stopped in the traffic lane, the Metro Nashville Police Department said.
The reality show, which aired on USA Network, is a comedic look at the lives of the Chrisley family. It was recently renewed for a 10th season. According to “Entertainment Tonight,” E! had already finished season 9 and did not film during the trial.