Reality TV Stars Todd and Julie Chrisley Challenge Bank Fraud and Tax Evasion Convictions

Reality TV Stars Todd and Julie Chrisley Challenge Bank Fraud and Tax Evasion Convictions
Julie Chrisley (L) and Todd Chrisley attend the grand opening of E3 Chophouse Nashville in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 20, 2019. (Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images for E3 Chophouse Nashville)

Reality television personalities Todd and Julie Chrisley are appealing various aspects of their convictions and sentences for federal charges related to bank fraud and tax evasion.

Oral arguments are set to begin on Friday, April 19.

Accompanied by their accountant, Peter Tarantino, who shares their fate behind bars, the trio seeks recourse, aiming to contest their convictions and secure new trials.

Legal representatives for the Chrisleys and Mr. Tarantino, alongside federal prosecutors, are poised to present their arguments before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

The Chrisleys’ daughter Savannah shared a post on Instagram urging supporters to attend the court proceedings. “I truly believe that God has a plan for ALL of us! I will remain steadfast in prayer for the judges that are on our panel as well as their hearts and minds,” she wrote.

The Chrisleys’ legal ordeal traces back to August 2019, culminating in a jury’s verdict in June 2022. The verdict found them guilty of orchestrating a scheme to defraud community banks, netting over $30 million in fraudulent loans by declaring bankruptcy, while also evading taxes and obstructing justice. Their accountant, Mr. Tarantino, faced charges related to conspiracy and false tax filings.

During bankruptcy, they started their reality television show called “Chrisley Knows Best” in which they flaunted their wealthy lifestyle, while allegedly hiding millions they made from the show from the IRS, according to prosecutors.

Legal counsel for the Chrisleys contends that discrepancies marred their trial, alleging false testimony and procedural errors. They argue that the evidence presented lacked credibility and failed to establish Ms. Julie Chrisley’s involvement in bank fraud. Furthermore, they challenge the imposition of restitution and asset forfeiture.

Mr. Todd Chrisley’s defense advocates for acquittal on tax evasion charges and seeks a fresh trial on remaining counts, citing erroneous evidence admission and alleged perjury. Similarly, Ms. Julie Chrisley’s legal team demands exoneration on bank fraud charges and a reassessment of her sentencing terms.

Prosecutors counter these claims, maintaining the validity of the evidence presented and the integrity of the trial proceedings. They oppose requests for retrials or acquittals, asserting sufficiency of evidence and procedural fairness.

Mr. Tarantino’s legal representation argues that his trial alongside the Chrisleys led to confusion and prejudice, warranting a retrial. They emphasize his lack of intentional involvement in the fraudulent activities.


Mr. Chrisley faces additional financial woes following a recent court ruling that found him liable for defaming a former Georgia Department of Revenue investigator.

According to court documents, a Georgia judge ordered the “Chrisley Knows Best” star to compensate Amy Doherty-Heinze with $755,000 in damages and legal fees.

Ms. Doherty-Heinze initiated legal action against Mr. Chrisley in 2021, alleging that he had made defamatory remarks accusing her of various criminal acts and misconduct during her tenure as an investigator for the Georgia agency. Despite attempts by Mr. Chrisley to dismiss the case before the lawsuit, Ms. Doherty-Heinze claimed that he persisted in defaming her through his podcast alongside his wife.

Earlier this year, the Chrisleys secured a $1 million settlement from the state of Georgia concerning an investigation by the Department of Revenue into their tax records. However, the federal government has sought to seize this settlement as part of the couple’s $17 million restitution obligation.

Mr. Chrisley, 56, is currently serving time at a minimum-security federal prison camp in Pensacola, Florida, with a release date set for October 2032. Ms. Chrisley, 51, is at a facility in Lexington, Kentucky, with a release date in July 2028. Mr. Tarantino is serving time in a minimum-security federal prison camp in Alabama, with a release date of September 2025.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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