TV personalities sentenced to years in federal prison for fraud and tax evasion | USAO-NDGA

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ATLANTA — Todd and Julie Chrisley were sentenced to 12 and 7 years in federal prison, respectively, after a jury found them guilty of bank and tax fraud offenses following a nearly three-week jury trial .

“Over a decade, the defendants defrauded banks of tens of millions of dollars while evading payment of their federal income taxes,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Their lengthy sentences reflect the scale of their criminal scheme and should serve as a warning to others tempted to exploit our nation’s community banking system for unlawful personal gain.”

“As this conviction proves, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind to your fame, fortune and position,” said FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley. “The FBI is proud to work with our law enforcement partners at the IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to pursue and prosecute individuals who are driven by greed to evade the law.”

“The Chrisleys have defrauded financial institutions and the federal government through tax evasion and other fraudulent means in an effort to minimize their tax liability, but project an image of wealth,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta. Field office. “This conviction serves to warn that regardless of a person’s celebrity status, there are serious consequences for evading the US tax system.”

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented to the court: Todd and Julie Chrisley conspired to defraud community banks in the Atlanta area to obtain more than $36 million in personal loans. The Chrisleys, with the help of their former business partner, submitted fake bank statements, audit reports and personal financial statements to community banks in Georgia to secure the loans. The Chrisleys spent the money on luxury cars, designer clothes, real estate and travel – and used new fraudulent loans to pay off old ones. After spending all the money, Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy and forfeited more than $20 million of those fraudulently obtained loans.

Later, while earning millions from their TV show, Todd and Julie Chrisley, along with their accountant, Peter Tarantino, conspired to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Throughout the plot, the Chrisleys operated a loan company. To evade collection of half a million dollars in delinquent taxes owed by Todd Chrisley, the Chrisleys opened and maintained the company’s bank accounts solely in Julie Chrisley’s name. But after the IRS requested bank account information in Julie Chrisley’s name, the Chrisleys transferred ownership of the company’s bank account to a relative to further conceal their income from the IRS.

Additionally, the Chrisleys did not file taxes or pay taxes for the 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 tax years. As part of the tax evasion scheme, Tarantino was convicted of filing two false tax returns for the loan company, which falsely claimed the company made no money and made no distributions in 2015 and 2016.

The Chrisleys also attempted to obstruct justice before being charged as well as during the trial. After learning of the grand jury investigation, Julie Chrisley submitted a fraudulent document in response to a grand jury subpoena to make it appear that the Chrisleys had not lied to the bank when they transferred the property from the loan company’s bank account to their relative.

On June 7, 2022, a jury found the Chrisleys guilty on all alternate counts, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit tax evasion. The jury found Julie Chrisley guilty of an additional charge of obstruction of justice. Tarantino was also found guilty of several tax offenses.

U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross sentenced the defendants as follows:

  • Todd Chrisley, 54, of Brentwood, Tennessee, was sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by three years of probation.
  • Julie Chrisley, 49, of Brentwood, Tennessee, was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by three years of probation.
  • Peter Tarantino, 60, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of probation.

As part of sentencing, the court ordered Todd and Julie Chrisley to pay restitution and will determine the exact amount at a later date.

This case was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas J. Krepp, Annalize K. Peters, Alex R. Sistla, Sekret T. Sneed, Vivieon K. Jones, and Amy Palumbo prosecuted the case.

For more information, please contact the US Attorney’s Office of Public Affairs at [email protected] or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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