Reality television stars Todd and Julie Chrisley, of Chrisley Knows Best, are facing 30 years in prison each after a jury found them guilty of all charges in their fraud and tax evasion case Tuesday.
The couple says they are “devastated” and plan to appeal, Fox reported.
Todd, Julie Chrisley convicted of fraud
The Atlanta, Georgia jury reached its verdict after a three-week trial. The Chrisleys denied wrongdoing and blamed a former employee who they said committed the fraud without their knowledge.
The couple was accused of defrauding banks of $30 million in loans that they used to finance a lavish lifestyle for themselves. Todd later filed for bankruptcy and had $20 million of that debt discharged, prosecutors said.
The Chrisleys also sought to keep the IRS from collecting taxes on the profits of their successful reality show, prosecutors claimed.
The couple’s accountant, Peter Tarantino, was convicted for falsifying tax returns.
“The Chrisleys are devastated and disappointed with the verdict; however, they will be actively pursuing an appeal,” Julie’s lawyer, Steve Friedberg, told Fox News. “They are grateful for all of the love and support they have received from their family, friends and fans.”
Sentencing in October
Julie was also accused of submitting fraudulent documents to rent a home in California that the couple occupied without paying rent, the government claimed.
The Chrisleys were charged with the crimes in 2019, and the charges were re-filed this year. An FBI special agent in charge of Atlanta’s office hailed the verdict.
“As today’s outcome shows, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position,” Special Agent Keri Farley said. “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 state of Georgia previously dropped a state tax evasion charge against the Chrisleys that accused them of avoiding $2 million in tax. Their unpaid liability was found to actually be under $77,000, and they reached a settlement to pay it off.
The judge in their federal case let the couple free on bond but ordered them to be closely monitored. They will be sentenced in October.