Reality television stars Todd and Julie Chrisley pleaded not guilty Wednesday to tax evasion and other federal charges that their lawyers said stemmed from false allegations made by a former employee.
The "Chrisley Knows Best" stars entered the pleas during their initial court appearance before a federal magistrate judge in Atlanta. The judge agreed to release them on $100,000 unsecured bond, which means they don't have to pay anything unless they fail to show up for court dates.
The judge ordered them to surrender their passports and said they're not allowed to travel outside of parts of Georgia and Tennessee without letting their probation officers know where they will be. Their lawyers had asked for travel permission so they can continue filming.
The Chrisleys were indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta Tuesday.
U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak said the 12-count indictment on tax evasion also includes charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Chrisely, 50, discussed the charges in a lengthy Instagram post Monday.
"I’ve never talked about this publicly before, but there’s been a cloud hanging over Julie and me and our entire family for the past seven years. It all started back in 2012, when we discovered that a trusted employee of ours had been stealing from us big time,” he wrote.
Though he said he wouldn't go into details, he claimed that the employed did "all kinds of really bad stuff like creating phony documents, forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything... We even discovered that he illegally bugged our home."
After firing and taking the employee to court, Chrisley says the employee took "phony documents" to the U.S. Attorney's office and told them the family had committed the financial crimes in order to "get revenge."
USA Network declined comment to USA TODAY on whether the indictment would impact the show.
Chrisley added that he is coming forward because he and his family have "nothing to hide and have nothing to be ashamed of."
Who is Todd Chrisley?
Chrisley is a real estate mogul from Georgia. He and his family have been part of the reality television show "Chrisley Knows Best" since it began airing in 2014. He and his wife Julie Chrisley, 46, share three children together, who are also featured on the show: Chase, 23, Savannah, 22 and Grayson, 13. There is also a spin-off show about Chase and Savannah called "Growing Up Chrisley."
The family moved to the Nashville area a few years ago, but the criminal charges stem from when they lived in Atlanta's northern suburbs.
Todd also has two children from a previous marriage to first wife Teresa Terry: Lindsie, 29 and Kyle, 27. Todd and Terry split in 1996, the same year he married Julie. Lindsie and Kyle were only featured in the beginning seasons of the show.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Todd Chrisley pleads not guilty to tax evasion, blames ex-employee