They might be the stars of “Chrisley Knows Best,” but knowing best doesn’t necessarily extend to financial bookkeeping. The Associated Press reports that Todd and Julie Chrisley have been found guilty on the federal charges including bank fraud and tax evasion that have been hanging over their heads since they were first indicted back in August of 2019.
The Chrisleys were found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to defraud multiple community banks out of more than $30 million worth of fraudulent loans, as well as conspiracy to defraud the IRS and evade taxation. Julie Christie alone was slapped with a conviction for counts of wire fraud and obstruction of justice. An attorney for Todd Chrisley tells the AP they expect to appeal the verdict.
According to prosecutors, the Chrisleys used phony documents to apply for bank loans, as well as false credit reports and bank statements in renting a California house. They were also alleged to have used a shell company under their control to hide income from the IRS, a scheme intended to keep from having to pay back taxes that Todd Chrisley already owed – allegations that were affirmed by the jury.
The general cycle of the couple’s scheme was reportedly obtaining large bank loans through fraudulent means, then paying the loans back with new loans, themselves also fraudulently obtained. Then, Todd Chrisley eventually filed for bankruptcy with more than $20 million in debt.
The frauds were committed before the Chrisleys’ reality show stardom and financial success. Special Agent Keri Farley of FBI Atlanta had this to say about the verdict in a press statement:
“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.”
Sentencing for both the Chrisleys and their former business partner Peter Tarantino, is scheduled for October.