- Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to order the Chrisleys to hand over $17,270,741.
- Todd and Julie Chrisley ran a yearslong conspiracy defrauding banks and the IRS.
- The celebrity couple was found guilty in June, and they are awaiting sentencing.
Federal prosecutors in Atlanta, Georgia, have asked a judge to order celebrity real estate moguls Todd and Julie Chrisley to forfeit $17,270,741 to the US government.
The Chrisleys — widely known from their USA Network family reality show “Chrisley Knows Best” — were convicted in June of all charges related to running a yearslong conspiracy to defraud banks and hide their money from the IRS.
Federal prosecutors proved to an Atlanta jury that the couple manipulated their financial records to make them appear wealthier than they were so they could apply for more than $30 million in loans, which they spent on a luxury lifestyle they couldn’t afford.
When the banks caught on to them, the Chrisleys filed for bankruptcy, walking away from $20 million in debt. The couple went on to hide money from the IRS with the help of their attorney, Peter Tarantino, prosecutors proved at trial.
“The United States seeks a personal forfeiture money judgment against Todd and Julie Chrisley in the amount of $17,270,741.57,” prosecutors wrote in the Nov. 14 motion for forfeiture. “As discussed in the United States’ Sentencing Memorandum, evidence at trial and that will be presented at sentencing shows that this amount represents the net proceeds of the offense.”
Fame and fortune not ‘above the law’
During a fiery tax-fraud trial that spanned nearly three weeks this summer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, a jury heard from the Chrisleys’ former buisness associates, TV production workers, and relatives about the behind-the-scenes drama of the celebrity sweethearts.
In addition to droves of financial records from banks and the IRS, the trial also hinged on the testimony of a former business partner, Mark Braddock, who admitted to participating in the Chrisleys’ financial scheme before turning them in to the government.
The former part-owner of Todd Chrisley’s management company told the jury that he had an intimate relationship with Todd Chrisley for about a year. He said they later became like brothers and he committed fraud on behalf of the Chrisleys and also for his own benefit.
Braddock, who was granted immunity to testify, said Todd Chrisley would direct him on how significantly to inflate personal financial statements before submitting them to banks for loans.
Banks, thinking he was more wealthy than he was, would give him millions of dollars in loans, which he used on Bentleys, Mercedes, mansions, designer clothes, and flying to and from Los Angeles every four to six weeks for haircuts, Braddock testified.
Braddock said he committed the fraud, in part, because of the intimate feelings he had for Chrisley even after their affair ended.
Todd Chrisley denied the affair, with his lawyer saying it was a fantasy concocted by Braddock because he was “obsessed” with his client.
The Chrisleys face up to 30 years in prison and are scheduled for sentencing on November 21 and 22.
Tarantino, the attorney, was also convicted for playing a role in the fraud, and will be sentenced at the same hearing.
“The jury in this case rendered a true and just verdict: the Chrisleys’ fame and fortune do not put them above the law,” Assistant US Attorneys Thomas Krepp and Annalise Peters wrote in the sentencing memo.