Real estate developers Todd and Julie Chrisley rose to fame as a husband and wife duo on the reality television show “Chrisley Knows Best.”
However, the pair went from being stars to convicted criminals last week after a jury found them guilty of bank fraud and tax evasion.
The fraud scheme involved $30 million worth of loans
“Following a three-week trial, a federal jury found Todd and Julie Chrisley guilty of conspiring to defraud community banks out of more than $30 million of fraudulent loans,” it explained.
“The jury also convicted Todd and Julie Chrisley and their accountant, Peter Tarantino, of a number of tax crimes, including conspiring to defraud the IRS,” the press release continued.
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan was quoted as saying his “office and our partner agencies will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute white-collar criminals who flout the law.”
Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Keri Farley addressed the conviction as well, stating, “As today’s outcome shows, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position.”
“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,” she added.
The jury rejects the defendants’ claim of being setup
The Daily Wire noted that the two defendants claimed to have been the victims of their former business partner, Mark Braddock.
In support of that contention, they pointed to testimony by former employee Donna Cash who recalled how Braddock told her to send false documents to loan companies.
“I did some bad things but that was one thing I wasn’t going to do,” Cash said, adding that she and Braddock “were lying to [Todd] about everything that was going on.” Braddock was given immunity in exchange for giving evidence against the Chrisleys.
In addition to being convicted along with her husband for bank fraud and tax evasion, Julie Chrisley was also found guilty of obstruction of justice.