Chrisley Knows Best stars Julie and Todd Chrisley were convicted of multiple counts of fraud and tax evasion this week. Their accountant, Peter Tarantino, was found guilty of was conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully filing false tax returns.
The verdict was handed down by a federal jury in Atlanta on Tuesday. As a result of the convictions, Julie and Todd are each facing up to 30 years in prison.
“As today’s outcome shows, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta in a post-conviction press release (included below). “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.”
Despite the looming change of permanent address, the Chrisleys remain free for now. Well, relatively free.
As part of the couple’s amended bond conditions, they are required to participate in Home Detention and in the Location Monitoring Program. “The type of location monitoring technology will be at the discretion of your probation officer and shall be used to monitor the following restrictions on your movement in the community as well as other conditions of release,” the amended order reads.
More from the Order:
You must participate in the home detention program and abide by all requirements of the program, which shall include the use of electronic monitoring equipment or other location verification system. You shall be restricted to your residence at all times except for employment; education; religious service; medical, substance abuse, or mental health treatment; attorney visits; court appearances; court-ordered obligations; or other activities as pre-approved by the Court or probation officer until further notice of the Court. Defendants must alert probation officers to any spending over $1,000. All other conditions are to remain the same.
When will the Chrisleys actually go to prison?
Julie and Todd will be able to enjoy their limited freedom for at least four more months. The Chrisleys’ sentencing has been scheduled for Thursday, October 6 at 9:30 AM. As anyone who has followed a criminal court case knows, hearings are often delayed. I am sure the Chrisleys will be doing everything within their power to delay their incarceration.
Despite the pending charges, USA recently rewarded the Chrisleys with another season of Chrisley Knows Best. In addition, E! seemed unconcerned about the fraud allegations as they rewarded Todd by letting him produce and host his own dating spin-off series titled Love Limo. From the press release issued last month:
E! has greenlit new dating series “Love Limo,” which is set to air next year and will be hosted and executive produced by Todd Chrisley. The network also picked up a fourth season of “Growing Up Chrisley,” which will launch this summer.
When it comes to matters of the heart, singles are willing to do almost anything to find love, even if that anything is putting their dating life into the hands of Todd Chrisley. In the new series “Love Limo,” hosted and executive produced by Todd Chrisley, he guides one unlucky-in-love single on a whirlwind day of speed dating that will hopefully end in the date night and match of their dreams. Todd believes you can learn everything you need to know about someone else in the first 20 minutes of meeting them and he’s about to put that theory to the test.
E! also renewed Growing Up Chrisley for a fourth season. That series “follows Chase and Savannah Chrisley as they embrace adulthood in their hometown of Nashville.”
Will the trial be on Chrisley Knows Best?
It’s unclear if the Chrisley trial and convictions will be addressed on Growing Up Chrisley. However, Entertainment Tonight confirms that footage from the trial will not be featured on Chrisley Knows Best:
A source close to production tells ET that the show is not currently in production on season 10, meaning the trial — which began nearly three weeks ago — was not filmed as part of the series.
The source tells ET that the episodes airing at the end of the month — which is the second half of season nine — were filmed before the trial began.
#ChrisleyKnowsBest Julie & Todd Chrisley indicted on numerous federal fraud charges, facing up to 30 years in prison. Todd insists he's innocent and investigators are being deceived by a former employee with a vendetta. https://t.co/tt4XCNzdmT
— Starcasm (@starcasm) August 14, 2019
Julie and Todd Chrisley conviction details
Below is the full press release issued by the Department of Justice’s U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. It does a fantastic job of summarizing the charges against the Chrisleys. It also does a fantastic job of peeling off the fake positivity that the couple conveys on screen and on social media, revealing two very deceitful and destructive human beings.
Reality TV stars convicted of fraud and tax evasion
ATLANTA, Ga. – Following a three-week trial, a federal jury found Todd and Julie Chrisley guilty of conspiring to defraud community banks out of more than $30 million of fraudulent loans. The jury also convicted Todd and Julie Chrisley and their accountant, Peter Tarantino, of a number of tax crimes, including conspiring to defraud the IRS. The Chrisleys were found guilty of tax evasion, and Peter Tarantino was found guilty of filing two false corporate tax returns on behalf of the Chrisleys’ company. The jury also found Julie Chrisley guilty of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
“The jury found that Todd and Julie Chrisley committed multiple fraud schemes for several years and their accountant, Peter Tarantino, filed false corporate tax returns on their behalf,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This office and our partner agencies will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute white collar criminals who flout the law.”
“As today’s outcome shows, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “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.”
“Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley and their Certified Public Accountant, Peter Tarantino, conspired to evade the assessment and payment of the Chrisley’s income taxes. The Chrisleys and Tarantino knew the law was clear on taxable income and who is required to file and pay taxes,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “These convictions should send a clear message regardless of your fame or notoriety, everyone will be held accountable for paying their fair share of taxes.”
— Starcasm (@starcasm) November 2, 2016
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: Before Todd and Julie Chrisley became reality television stars, they conspired to defraud community banks in the Atlanta area to obtain more than $30 million in personal loans. The Chrisleys, with the help of their former business partner, submitted false bank statements, audit reports, and personal financial statements to banks to obtain the millions of dollars in fraudulent loans. The Chrisleys then spent the money on luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate, and travel—and used new fraudulent loans to pay back old ones. After spending all the money, Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy and walked away from more than $20 million of the fraudulently obtained loans.
The evidence further showed that in 2014, while Todd Chrisley was in bankruptcy proceedings, Julie Chrisley again manufactured financial documents and lied to real estate agents to obtain a luxury rental house in Los Angeles, California. As soon as the Chrisleys began renting the house, they failed to pay rent, and the homeowner filed an eviction lawsuit.
Around the time that Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy, the Chrisleys became the stars of their own reality show, which was recorded in Atlanta and later in Nashville.. The evidence at trial showed that while they were earning millions from their TV show, Todd and Julie Chrisley, along with their accountant, Peter Tarantino, conspired to defraud the Internal Revenue Service.
Throughout the conspiracy, the Chrisleys operated a loan-out company that received their income earned from their show and other entertainment ventures. To evade collection of half a million dollars in delinquent taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, the Chrisleys opened and kept the corporate bank accounts only in Julie Chrisley’s name. One day after the IRS requested information about bank accounts in Julie Chrisley’s name, the Chrisleys transferred ownership of the corporate bank account to Todd Chrisley’s mother in an effort to further hide his income from the IRS. All the while, Todd Chrisley operated the loan-out company behind the scenes and controlled the company’s purse strings.
— Starcasm (@starcasm) March 8, 2016
While the Chrisleys were earning millions and evading paying Todd Chrisley’s delinquent back taxes, they also failed to file tax returns or pay any taxes for the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 tax years. At one point, Todd Chrisley falsely claimed on a radio program that he paid $750,000 to $1 million in federal income taxes every year, even though he had not filed or paid his personal income tax returns for years. Tarantino was also convicted of filing two false corporate tax returns for the loan-out company, which falsely claimed that the company earned no money and made no distributions in 2015 and 2016.
Finally, Julie Chrisley was convicted of obstruction of justice. After learning of the grand jury investigation, she submitted a fraudulent document in response to a grand jury subpoena to make it appear that the Chrisleys had not lied to the bank when they transferred ownership of the loan-out company’s bank account to Todd Chrisley’s mother. Julie Chrisley transmitted this document with the intent of impeding the grand jury’s investigation into her and her husband and avoiding prosecution.
Sentencing or Todd and Julie Chrisley, and Peter Tarantino, has been scheduled for Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.
This case is being investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas J. Krepp and Annalise K. Peters are prosecuting the case.
— Starcasm (@starcasm) March 17, 2016