The stars of USA Network’s hit reality show Chrisley Knows Best were found guilty on every charge by a federal jury in Atlanta.
They’re the latest reality stars to face actual consequences for their actions (though others have not yet):
- a Survivor winner went to prison for tax evasion
- a Big Brother winner went to prison for drug trafficking and tax evasion
- a Real Housewives couple went to prison for fraud
- a Food Network star will spend life in prison for killing a child
- a TLC star was just sentenced to 12+ years in prison for possession of child pᴏrnᴏgraphy
The Chrisleys will be sentenced in early October, and “could face up to 30 years in prison,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Their lawyer said, in a statement Us Weekly printed, that they are “disappointed in the verdict and said “an appeal is planned.”
The crimes Todd and Julie Chrisley are guilty of
Their crimes, which were detailed during a three-week trial, include tax evasion, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud banks, and obstruction of justice, and span several years, including before they were stars of a USA Network reality show.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, which prosecuted the case, has laid out in detail the crimes Chrisleys were found guilty of today.
The story begins like this:
Before Todd and Julie Chrisley became reality television stars, they conspired to defraud community banks in the Atlanta area to obtain more than $30 million in personal loans. The Chrisleys, with the help of their former business partner, submitted false bank statements, audit reports, and personal financial statements to banks to obtain the millions of dollars in fraudulent loans. The Chrisleys then spent the money on luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate, and travel—and used new fraudulent loans to pay back old ones. After spending all the money, Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy and walked away from more than $20 million of the fraudulently obtained loans.
The evidence further showed that in 2014, while Todd Chrisley was in bankruptcy proceedings, Julie Chrisley again manufactured financial documents and lied to real estate agents to obtain a luxury rental house in Los Angeles, California. As soon as the Chrisleys began renting the house, they failed to pay rent, and the homeowner filed an eviction lawsuit.
After their reality show began in the spring of 2014, the U.S. Attorney’s office says that they worked with their accountant to defraud the IRS:
Throughout the conspiracy, the Chrisleys operated a loan-out company that received their income earned from their show and other entertainment ventures. To evade collection of half a million dollars in delinquent taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, the Chrisleys opened and kept the corporate bank accounts only in Julie Chrisley’s name. One day after the IRS requested information about bank accounts in Julie Chrisley’s name, the Chrisleys transferred ownership of the corporate bank account to Todd Chrisley’s mother in an effort to further hide his income from the IRS. All the while, Todd Chrisley operated the loan-out company behind the scenes and controlled the company’s purse strings.
While the Chrisleys were earning millions and evading paying Todd Chrisley’s delinquent back taxes, they also failed to file tax returns or pay any taxes for the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 tax years. At one point, Todd Chrisley falsely claimed on a radio program that he paid $750,000 to $1 million in federal income taxes every year, even though he had not filed or paid his personal income tax returns for years.
Will these convictions and/or their sentencing affect the Chrisley family reality show(s)?
The rest of Chrisley Knows Best season 9 is scheduled to start airing June 23, with season 10 coming “later this year,” according to a mid-May USA Network press release.