Everything we know about the case against Todd and Julie Chrisley, the reality TV stars convicted of tax evasion and bank fraud

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Todd and Julie Chrisley star on the reality show "Chrisley Knows Best."Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
  • Reality stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were just sentenced to a combined 19 years in prison.

  • The couple starred on "Chrisley Knows Best" and were convicted of tax evasion and bank fraud.

  • Here's what we know about the case and what the Chrisleys have said about the charges.

"Chrisley Knows Best" stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were just sentenced to 19 years in prison after being convicted of tax evasion, bank fraud, and other charges.

The Chrisleys were first indicted by a Georgia grand jury in 2019 on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and tax evasion. The Chrisleys' accountant Peter Tarantino was also charged with several financial crimes.

Here's everything we know about the case against the Chrisleys.

Todd and Julie Chrisley reflected on their experience in a November podcast episode recorded shortly before their sentencing

The Chrisleys revealed in the episode that their faith was one of the few things allowing them to get through the "nightmare" they'd both been living through.

However, Julie emphasized that she's been trying to not "live in fear," despite her concerns for her children and the family's future.

The couple also compared themselves to the biblical figure Job, who lived a prosperous and happy life but was later beset by numerous challenges designed to test his faith in God.

The couple pled for leniency but were ultimately sentenced to a combined 19 years in prison

After Assistant US Attorney Annalise Peters showed footage of the Chrisleys boasting about their lavish lifestyle during the sentencing hearing in November, Todd Chrisley begged for a lighter sentence for Julie, who's the caretaker of their children Grayson and Chloe.

"My wife Julie should not be punished" to the same scale, he said, according to Insider's Azmi Haroun and Haven Orecchio-Egresitz.

Julie Chrisley, for her part, expressed concern for her children should she be sent to prison.

"To hear your 10-year-old say she doesn't want to live if their mom goes away, no child should feel that way," she said of her adopted daughter Chloe.

US District Judge Eleanor Ross pointed out that in most of the cases she oversees, children are left behind upon their parents' sentencing.

"It is heartbreaking, but it has to be burdened by the defendants," Ross said, per Haroun and Orecchio-Egresitz.

Todd Chrisley was sentenced to 12 years in prison while Julie Chrisley was sentenced to seven years.

In June, the Chrisleys were convicted of bank fraud and other charges

An Atlanta federal jury found Todd Chrisley guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the US, and tax fraud. The same jury convicted Julie Chrisley of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the US, tax fraud, and wire fraud as well.

As Insider's Haven Orecchio-Egresitz reported at the time, Peter Tarantino was also convicted of conspiracy to defraud the US and willfully filing false tax returns.

The Chrisleys' federal trial began earlier this year

According to Orecchio-Egresitz's previous reporting for Insider, federal prosecutors alleged the Chrisleys and their accountant — initially indicted in 2019 — submitted fake documents and fabricated their wealth to banks when applying for loans.

The alleged scheme lasted from 2007 to 2012, according to court documents, and in one instance they allegedly provided documentation to a bank that made it appear as though Todd Chrisley had $4 million in a Merrill Lynch account.

In reality, prosecutors argued, Todd Chrisley didn't have money at Merrill Lynch at the time, and when he did open an account there, it never had more than $17,ooo in it.

"As a result of false representations like these, a number of banks issued the conspirators millions of dollars in loans, much of which Todd and Julie Chrisley used for their own personal benefit," the indictment read.

Julie Chrisley was also accused of submitting a fake credit report and bank statements when applying to rent a California home, which the couple stopped paying rent on a few months after they began using it, per court papers.

The Chrisleys accused an ex-employee of creating 'phony' documents that led to their federal indictment in 2019

In 2019, Todd Chrisley shared a lengthy post to Instagram accusing an ex-employee of being responsible for the Chrisleys' current financial woes.

In opening statements, their lawyer has blamed all bank fraud and tax evasion on the former employee, Mark Braddock, who eventually turned in the couple to the FBI.

"I've never talked about this publicly before, but there's been a cloud hanging over Julie and me and our entire family for the past seven years," Todd said in his post.

He went on to accuse a "trusted employee" of stealing from the family, and doing "all kinds of really bad stuff" like "creating phony documents, forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything." Todd even said that the ex-employee "illegally bugged" their home.

Todd Chrisley said that they fired the former employee and took him to court — but that the ex-employee took his "phony" documents to the US Attorney's office as revenge, telling investigators that the Chrisleys had committed "all kinds of financial crimes, like tax evasion and bank fraud."

According to Todd Chrisley, the attorney's office "realized it was all a bunch of nonsense" and "sent [the ex-employee] on his way."

However, the embittered former employee "somehow ... persuaded a different set of investigators at the US Attorney's office not only to reopen the case but also to grant him immunity from prosecution for his own crimes," in addition to bringing new charges against the Chrisleys, Todd said in his Instagram post.

He said that he and his wife would likely be named in a federal indictment, but maintained their innocence.

"We have nothing to hide and have nothing to be ashamed of," Todd Chrisley wrote.

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Todd and Julie Chrisley have five children. Savannah (second from left) and Chase (right) are seen here with their parents.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The Chrisleys were first indicted by a Georgia grand jury in 2019

The "Chrisley Knows Best" stars were indicted by a Georgia grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and tax evasion. Their CPA was also named in the indictments.

This isn't the first time the Chrisleys have been accused of financial crimes

The Chrisleys have been involved in several financial controversies over the years, including a lawsuit from 2018 filed against an ex-employee.

Back in 2017, more than $700,000 worth of liens were filed against Todd and Julie, with an investigation alleging that the Chrisleys hadn't been paying Georgia income taxes for several years — despite the fact that they were both residents of the state at the time.

And in 2018, Todd Chrisley sued Homebanc Mortgage Corporation, alleging that a "former business partner" (the same one mentioned by Todd Chrisley in his 2019 Instagram post) forged Todd Chrisley's name on home mortgage documents, according to RadarOnline. Todd Chrisley said his dealings with his ex-partner forced him to file for bankruptcy protection in 2012, and that he wasn't aware of the mortgage until years later.

The Chrisleys are known for their lavish lifestyle

The first three seasons of "Chrisley Knows Best" were filmed in the family's 30,000-square-foot Atlanta mansion —and Todd Chrisley even claimed that the family sometimes spends over $300,000 in clothing per year.

Members of the Chrisley family also drove fancy cars on the show, and Todd was often quick to point out that the family lived in a gated community that counted singer Usher and a major league baseball star among its residents.

Many felt that Todd's filing for bankruptcy protection in 2012 was at odds with the family's lavish lifestyle.

Bankruptcy trustee Jason Pettie, who oversaw some of Chrisley's bankruptcy protection filings, told WSB that he was astounded by the Chrisleys' spending habits after watching their show.

"That didn't sit well at all," Pettie told the ABC affiliate. "I realized there was a lot of debt propping up the appearance on TV."

"[Chrisley] frequently made high-end clothing and accessory purchases," Pettie later shared with People.

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Todd Chrisley is a multimillionaire and real estate developer.Rob Latour/Invision/AP

Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy protection for nearly $50 million in 2012

According to People, the glitzy facade of the Chrisleys' reality show masked outrageous spending habits and steady debt, something the bankruptcy documents corroborated.

Todd listed more than $4.2 million in assets but had debts totaling nearly $50 million at the time of his filing in 2012, according to People. A lawyer for Chrisley told People in 2014 that the bankruptcy was the result of a real estate development loan gone bad, but bankruptcy trustee Pettie was still suspicious.

"Neither [Chrisley nor his wife, Julie] has been employed since 2012," Pettie wrote in a complaint in 2014. "However, they continue to live in lavish residences, drive expensive vehicles, and travel extensively."

Representatives for the Chrisleys didn't immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

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