- Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to sentence the Chrisleys to 10-17 years in prison.
- Todd and Julie Chrisley were convicted in June of running a yearslong fraud scheme.
- The reality TV couple tricked banks into believing they were wealthier then they are to get loans.
Prosecutors are asking an Atlanta federal judge to sentence Todd and Julie Chrisley to up to 17 years in prison.
The reality-TV couple, known for their boisterous and Christian family persona from “Chrisley Knows Best,” were convicted of running a yearslong scheme defrauding banks and the IRS to take out loans and dodge taxes.
Their joint sentencing is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Their convictions come with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, but Todd Chrisley’s lawyer, Bruce Morris, has asked for less than the minimum because it would negatively impact his mother, Nanny Faye, who is frail, and the employees who work on the family’s shows.
The Chrisleys continue to be featured in their original USA series. Their children star in a spin-off series, “Growing Up Chrisley.”
Federal prosecutors, who proved to a jury that the couple went great lengths to manipulate financial records and inflate their apparent wealth so they could live a flashy lifestyle they couldn’t afford, believe the couple doesn’t deserve leniency and have asked for several sentencing enhancements.
“The seriousness of the Chrisleys’ crimes cannot be understated. After they defrauded community banks out of tens of millions of dollars, they hid millions of dollars from the IRS, all while going on television to boast about how much they spend on designer clothes,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.
“And when they learned that they were under investigation for those crimes, they involved their own family members and friends to obstruct justice. The seriousness of their actions is further underscored by the fact that neither defendant has expressed remorse for their crimes, instead continuing to blame others for their own criminal conduct,” they continued. “Given the seriousness of the Chrisleys’ crimes, a lengthy period of incarceration is warranted.”
Prosecutors proved at trial that the Chrisleys, with the assistance of a former business partner, manipulated financial records to make it appear they were wealthier than they were to apply for more than $30 million in loans, which they spent on Bentleys, mansions, and flying from the East Coast to Los Angeles for haircuts.
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 former accountant Peter Tarantino, who was also convicted in the scheme and is awaiting sentencing.
The fiery summer trial, which spanned nearly three weeks, included testimony from members of the celebrity family, as well as employees and buisness professionals who worked closely with them.
Testimony from the couple’s former business partner, Mark Braddock, who admitted to participating in the Chrisleys’ financial scheme before turning them in to the government, was crucial to the prosecution.
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.
Todd’s lawyer called Braddock a criminal who was “obsessed” with Todd Chrisley and vengeful when he ended their buisness relationship. Morris called the alleged affair pure “fantasy.”