Everything to Know About the $30 Million Fraud Trial Against Todd and Julie Chrisley
Kevin Mazur/ACMA2017/Getty Todd and Julie Chrisley
A verdict was reached in the federal trial of Todd and Julie Chrisley.
After a nearly three-week-long trial, the couple — known for their USA Network reality show Chrisley Knows Best — was found guilty on all counts in a federal court in Georgia, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Julie was also convicted of wire fraud.
They faced criminal bank fraud and tax evasion charges after being accused of submitting falsified documents when applying for rental property and loans.
The trial, which commenced on May 16, 2022, comes after the Chrisleys were indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2019 for 12 counts of bank and wire fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy, all of which they have denied.
Todd defended himself on Instagram on Aug. 12 that year, shifting the blame to one of the family's "trusted employees," claiming that he had been "stealing" from them.
The reality personality noted that it all started back in 2012 and it involved "all kinds of really bad stuff like creating phony documents, forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything."
The couple was cleared of their state tax evasion charge in Georgia in October 2019 but continued to face federal charges for allegedly evading federal taxes. On Nov. 21, a federal judge sentenced the Chrisleys.
The reality stars began their prison sentences on Jan. 17, 2023. Todd will serve 12 years at the Federal Prison Camp Pensacola, while Julie will serve seven years at the Federal Correctional Institution Marianna.
During an interview with PEOPLE, Lindsie Chrisley shared how her parents spent their final days before prison. "At this time, it's basically living every day like it's your last," she said ahead of their sentences. "My parents are definitely dedicating their time to therapy, their Biblical studies [and] their children."
Hours before the couple began their respective prison sentences on Jan. 17, Todd posted a message to Instagram one final time. "HE is always on time… #fightthegoodfight," wrote Todd alongside a now-deleted video of southern gospel singer Karen Peck performing "Four Days Late" at a congregation.
Keep scrolling for everything to know about the Chrisley family trial.
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Who are Todd and Julie Chrisley?
USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty
Todd and Julie are the married stars of the eponymous reality series Chrisley Knows Best. The show premiered on USA Network in 2014 and is entering part two of its ninth season in June. It has also been renewed for a tenth season, which is expected to begin later this year.
The series centers around patriarch Todd and his "brutally honest" parenting style towards his five children — Lindsie, Kyle, Chase, Savannah and Grayson. The family drama spawned a docuseries titled Growing Up Chrisley that follows the lives of Chase and Savannah as they enter adulthood.
In addition, Todd hosts and executive produces a speed-dating, match-making series titled Love Limo.
RELATED: Savannah Chrisley Shares Bible Verse After Parents Todd and Julie Are Indicted for Tax Evasion
What were Todd and Julie Chrisley indicted for in 2019?
Todd and Julie were indicted on 12 counts of bank and wire fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy in August 2019 after being accused of evading nearly $2 million in state taxes between 2008 and 2016.
Prosecutors also claimed they used their production company, 7 C Production, to hide over $1 million dollar's worth of their reality TV income from the IRS, and alleged that Todd directed an employee to falsify income and asset documents. The Chrisleys turned themselves in and pleaded not guilty to the charges at the time.
That October, the Georgia Department of Revenue cleared them of their state tax evasion charge, agreeing that the Chrisley Knows Best stars had overpaid in four of those years and owed nothing for the other four. In total, they had a net liability of less than $77,000 in overdue taxes for just one year of incorrect filing.
Why were Todd and Julie Chrisley on trial?
Bob Mahoney/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Julie and Todd Chrisley
Although the Georgia Department of Revenue signed a settlement agreement that ended a two-year investigation into the couple's alleged state tax liabilities, per a press release shared with PEOPLE at the time, Todd and Julie continue to face federal charges for allegedly evading federal taxes during those same years.
"Both face one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, five counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of tax fraud. Julie Chrisley faces additional counts of wire fraud and obstruction of justice," FOX 5 Atlanta reported.
The Chrisleys' accountant, Peter Tarantino, is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of willfully filing false tax returns.
When did Todd and Julie Chrisley's trial begin?
Jury selection for Todd and Julie Chrisley's trial began on Monday, May 16, followed by opening statements on Tuesday, per The Tennessean. The trial is expected to last three to four weeks in Atlanta, the city where the couple lived when the indictment was filed before they moved to Tennessee.
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What was said during the Chrisley trial opening statements?
On May 17, Assistant US Attorney Annalise Peters gave her opening statement, claiming that Todd and Julie submitted false documents exaggerating their wealth to banks to borrow over $30 million that they "burned" on their affluent lifestyle while additionally hiding money from the IRS.
"They made up documents and they lie through their teeth to get whatever they want, whenever they want it," Peters told the jury, per Insider.
Todd Chrisley's attorney, Bruce H. Morris, blamed the couple's former employee, Mark Braddock, for impersonating Todd and committing the fraud behind the couple's back, reportedly turning on them after he was fired in 2012. Despite Peters deeming Braddock a "fraudster," she noted that the couple continued the act even after ties with him were cut.
Accountant Tarantino's attorney said that his client was "in over his head" and unqualified to handle the Chrisleys' finances — noting that he "failed the CPA exam many times over 20 years," the outlet reported. Regardless of his lack of qualifications, the attorney noted that Tarantino is not a criminal.
What punishment were Todd and Julie Chrisley facing?
Kevin Mazur/ACMA2017/Getty Todd and Julie Chrisley
When the Chrisleys were first indicted in 2019, PEOPLE spoke with tax attorney Dawn Delia who explained the consequences the couple could face if convicted of the alleged crimes.
At the time, Delia explained that if the case does go to trial and the jury rules in favor of the government, "the IRS can grab everything that they have to fulfill the debt." She noted that "the IRS moves [the charges] from administrative to criminal when it's a very serious case," which is what they are facing.
She added that "if it does come out that the jury agrees," Todd and Julie could "could face up to five years in prison for tax evasion" and possibly even more.
RELATED: Todd and Julie Chrisley Are Sentenced in Bank Fraud and Tax Evasion Case
What was Todd and Julie Chrisley's trial verdict?
After a nearly three-week-long trial, Todd and Julie have been convicted on all counts in a federal court in Georgia on June 7, 2022.
They were found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax fraud, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Julie was also convicted of wire fraud.
According to Insider, the pair's former lawyer Peter Tarantino was also found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully filing false tax returns.
The couple soon filed a motion for bail but it was denied on Jan. 11, 2023. The court also denied their request to push back their surrender date by 21 days.
What is Todd and Julie Chrisley's sentence?
A federal judge sentenced the Chrisley couple on Nov. 21, with Todd receiving 12 years in prison and 16 months probation while Julie received seven years in prison plus 16 months probation, according to Insider and Fox 5 Atlanta.
The Chrisleys will begin their prison sentences on Jan. 17, 2023. Both Julie and Todd will serve their time at Florida correctional facilities, roughly two and a half hours away from each other.
Tarantino was also sentenced to 36 months in prison, per Insider. The couple's former accountant is set to report to prison on May 1, 2023, after undergoing hip surgery, per the outlet.
Where are Todd and Julie Chrisley serving their sentence?
On Jan. 17, Todd reported to Federal Correctional Institution (FPI) Pensacola in Florida, while Julie began her sentence at a different federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky. The two are sentenced to a combined 19 years behind bars.