Reality-TV couple Todd and Julie Chrisley are going to jail, as the Chrisley Knows Best stars were sentenced to a combined 19 years in federal prison on Monday after being found guilty of multiple counts of fraud and tax evasion.
Todd Chrisley was given a 12-year sentence, while his wife Julie was sentenced to seven years. Both will also serve 16 months of probation. A jury found the couple guilty of tax evasion and bank fraud, including falsifying documents to obtain $30 million in bank loans and concealing millions of dollars from the IRS they had made from their USA Network reality show.
The couple’s accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully filing false tax returns. He was sentenced to three years in prison.
“Todd and Julie Chrisley are career swindlers who have made a living by jumping from one fraud scheme to another, lying to banks, stiffing vendors and evading taxes at every corner,” the prosecutors wrote (via Variety). “Their ’empire’ was built upon the backs of defrauded community banks that collapsed while Todd Chrisley used the stolen money to fly to Los Angeles for bi-weekly haircuts.”
Bruce Morris, Todd Chrisley’s defense lawyer, argued for a reduced sentence, claiming that the delinquent taxes have since been paid and that many people rely on Todd for their income, including workers on Chrisley Knows Best and its spinoff shows.
Chrisley Knows Best was in mid-production on its 10th season when the trial began, and those episodes are expected to air in 2023. No plans have been announced for future seasons.
Following the sentencing, Todd and Julie’s daughter, Savannah Chrisley, shared a Biblical-inspired quote in support of her parents. “Noah didn’t stop building the ark to explain himself to everyone who doubted and hated on him,” read the post on Savannah’s Instagram Stories. “Keep building your ark. The rain will do the talking.”
It’s been a bad week for the Chrisley family, as just days before Todd and Julie’s sentencing, their 16-year-old son, Grayson Chrisley, was hospitalized after a car accident. According to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Grayson was in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, November 12, and drove into the back of a stopped vehicle. An ambulance transported him to a nearby hospital.
“Grayson was in a horrific car accident on the interstate, and we got the phone call that we had to get to him,” Todd said on his Chrisley Confessions podcast (via People). “I ran out of the house, you know, jumped in the car and found him on the interstate. The highway patrol was there. Traffic was lined up for miles and miles. His car was totaled.”
“Then, they said you want to ride with him to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and I said, ‘I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be with him until he comes home with me,’” he continued. “So, I remember holding his hand and saying, ‘It’s ok. It’s gonna be ok.’”