Todd and Julie Chrisley filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the head of the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Office of Special Investigations. The Chrisley Knows Best stars accuse Joshua Waites, director of the state agency’s Special Investigation unit, of abusing the power of his office and violating both federal and state law as part of an effort "to aggressively pursue and prosecute bogus tax evasion claims against the Chrisleys." The filing comes days after the Chrisleys were cleared of state tax evasion charges in Georgia; however, their federal case still looms.
Yahoo Entertainment received a copy of the lawsuit in which the Chrisleys accuse Waites of targeting their estranged 26-year-old daughter Lindsie "in an effort to induce her to reveal compromising information about her family." He's accused of sharing confidential tax and grand jury information that he had "learned through his position with the [Department of Revenue] and through his contacts with the federal government."
"Despite the fact that she had no such information, and perhaps because of it, Waites persisted, pursuing an increasingly aggressive relationship with Lindsie, in which he improperly shared the Chrisleys’ confidential tax and other information with her in an effort to gain her trust or to intimidate her into cooperation," the lawsuit claims. "Ultimately Waites’s efforts failed, but in the process, the Chrisleys were forced to incur substantial personal and financial hardship."
The lawsuit includes various alleged text messages between Lindsie and Waites over a period of at least 18 months. Waites allegedly discussed his personal life and his family with her and sent her photographs of his children. He's accused of "improperly" apprising Lindsie of developments in her father’s case and disclosing information about other cases, raids, and arrests in which he was involved. Waites allegedly shared photos of people he had taken into custody. Waites is also accused of allowing agents to buy "a dart board or punching bag... which they had affixed a photograph or other representation of Todd Chrisley’s face at which the agents threw darts or punches. Defendant sent Lindsie Chrisley Campbell a photograph of such dart board or punching bag."
"This case is a shocking example of how an out-of-control public servant can abuse his office and violate the rights of innocent citizens for reasons that have more to do with securing publicity and money for his office than with enforcing the law," the filing notes.
A spokesman for the Georgia Department of Revenue issued the following statement to Yahoo Entertainment on Tuesday afternoon: "Our investigators are fair and impartial in their work with a commitment to ensuring compliance with the law. In accordance with state law and as a matter of standard protocol, the Department cannot comment on the specifics of any investigation, settlement, or pending litigation. This development is disappointing and their accusations are unfounded, but we will decline to provide any further comment on this matter."
An attorney for Lindsie did not immediately reply to Yahoo Entertainment's request for comment. However, her lawyer previously denied she was the the source of information that led Todd and Julie to be indicted by a federal grand jury for tax evasion and other financial crimes.
While the complaint asks for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney’s fees, a representative for the Chrisley family tells Yahoo Entertainment they pledge to donate any funds they recover in damages to programs designed to assist Georgia taxpayers who have suffered similar ill-treatment.
The Chrisleys maintain innocence in the federal investigation as well.
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