Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley found guilty of fraud, tax evasion

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Julie and Todd Chrisley.
Julie and Todd Chrisley.
Photo: Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images for E3 Chop

  • Reality TV stars Todd, and Julie Chrisley were found guilty of fraud and tax evasion.
  • The couple is best known for their reality TV show Chrisley Knows Best.
  • The conviction comes just a month after their show was renewed for a 10th season on the USA Network.

Todd and Julie Chrisley, stars of the reality TV show Chrisley Knows Best, were found guilty by a federal court jury on Tuesday of charges of tax evasion and conspiring to swindle community banks out of $30 million in fraudulent loans.

The guilty verdicts against the Chrisleys and their accountant, Peter Tarantino, capped a three-week trial in US District Court in Atlanta, according to a statement from the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

The Chrisleys were accused of submitting false bank statements, audit reports and personal financial statements to obtain millions in personal loans from community banks in the Atlanta area before the couple became TV stars.

According to prosecutors, the couple spent the money on luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate and travel while using bogus new loans to pay back some of the old ones. Todd Chrisley ultimately filed for bankruptcy to walk away from more than $20 million in debt.

The bankruptcy proceedings in 2014 also coincided with the couple landing their own USA Network reality show, Chrisley Knows Best, portraying Todd Chrisley as a Georgia real estate tycoon and patriarch of a wealthy family living in the Atlanta area.

Seeking to evade collection of $500 000 in delinquent taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, the couple opened corporate bank accounts of a family-owned loan-out company in his wife's name before transferring ownership to his mother-in-law, prosecutors said.

At the same time, according to prosecutors, the couple failed to file tax returns or pay any taxes from 2013 through 2016, even as they earned millions from their television show, according to prosecutors.

The trial jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts, including charges of tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Julie Chrisley was also convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Sentencing was set for 6 October.

The conviction comes just a month after Chrisley Knows Best was renewed for a 10th season on the USA Network, while the E! entertainment channel picked up a fourth season of the spinoff series Growing Up Chrisley, according to Hollywood trade publication Variety.

E! last month also gave its production go-ahead to a new dating series, Love Limo, starring and produced by Todd Chrisley, Variety reported.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.