Stars of Reality TV ‘Chrisley Knows Best’ found guilty of tax evasion, fraud
Todd and Julie Chrisley, stars of the reality TV show “Chrisley Knows Best,” were found guilty by a federal court jury on Tuesday of federal charges of tax evasion and conspiring to swindle community banks out of $30 million in fraudulent loans.
The guilty verdicts against the Chrisleys and their accountant, Peter Tarantino, capped a three-week trial in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
The Chrisleys were accused of submitting false bank statements, audit reports, and personal financial statements to obtain millions in personal loans from community banks in the Atlanta area before the couple became TV stars.
According to prosecutors, the couple spent the money on luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate, and travel, while using bogus new loans to pay back some of the old ones. Todd Chrisley ultimately filed for bankruptcy to walk away from more than $20 million in debt.
GUILTY: Todd & Julie Chrisley, stars of the reality television show “Chrisley Knows Best,” found guilty in Atlanta on federal charges including bank fraud and tax evasion @CourtTV pic.twitter.com/EFCULat5fy
— Chanley Shá Painter (@ChanleyCourtTV) June 7, 2022
The bankruptcy proceedings in 2014 also coincided with the couple landing their own USA Network reality show, “Chrisley Knows Best,” portraying Todd Chrisley as a Georgia real estate tycoon and patriarch of a wealthy family living in Atlanta area.
Seeking to evade collection of $500,000 in delinquent taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, the couple opened corporate bank accounts of a family-owned loan-out company in his wife’s name, before transferring ownership to his mother-in-law, prosecutors said.
At the same time, according to prosecutors, the couple failed to file tax returns or pay any taxes from 2013 through 2016 even as they earned millions from their television show, according to prosecutors.
The trial jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts, including charges of tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Julie Chrisley was also convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Sentencing was set for Oct. 6.
The conviction comes just a month after “Chrisley Knows Best” was renewed for a 10th season on the USA Network, while the E! entertainment channel picked up a fourth season of the spinoff series “Growing Up Chrisley,” according to Hollywood trade publication Variety.
E! last month also gave its production go-ahead to a new dating series “Love Limo,” starring and produced by Todd Chrisley, Variety reported.