ATLANTA (AP) – Todd and Julie Chrisley were driven by greed as they engaged in an elaborate bank fraud scheme and then hid their wealth from tax authorities while flaunting their lavish lifestyle, federal prosecutors said, arguing the reality The TV stars who happened should get long prison sentences. ,
The Chrisley family rose to fame with their show “Chrisley Knows Best,” which followed their tight-knit, boisterous family. He pleaded guilty to the federal charges in June and will be sentenced by US District Judge Eleanor Ross in a hearing that begins Monday and is likely to extend through Tuesday.
Using a process to calculate a sentencing guideline range based on several factors, federal prosecutors determined that the upper end of that range was approximately 22 years for Todd Chrisley and approximately 12½ years for Julie Chrisley. Prosecutors wrote in a court filing that the couple should also be ordered to pay damages.
“The Chrisleys have built an empire based on the lie that their wealth came from dedication and hard work,” prosecutors wrote. “The jury’s unanimous verdict sets the record straight: Todd and Julie Chrisley are career swindlers who made a living by jumping from one fraud scheme to another, lying to banks, scamming vendors and evading taxes at every corner. Have done.”
The Chrisley family disagrees with the calculations in the government’s guidelines. Todd Chrisley’s attorneys wrote in a filing that he should face no more than nine years in prison and that the judge should sentence him below the low end of the guidelines. Julie Chrisley’s attorneys wrote that an appropriate sentence for her would be probation with special conditions and no jail time.
The Chrisley family was indicted in June on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, tax evasion and defraud the IRS. Julie Chrisley was also convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
Peter Tarantino, an accountant hired by the couple, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS and knowingly filing false tax returns. He is destined to be sentenced with Chrysalis.
Prosecutors have said the couple submitted fake documents to banks and managed to secure more than $30 million in fraudulent loans. Once this plan failed, Todd Chrisley walked away from his responsibility to repay the loan, declaring bankruptcy. While in bankruptcy, he began his own reality show and “flaunted his wealth and lifestyle to the American public,” prosecutors wrote. When he started making millions from his show, he hid money from the IRS to avoid paying taxes.
Prosecutors wrote that Chrysalis presented a false document to a grand jury investigating his crimes and then persuaded friends and family members to lie. Prosecutors wrote that none of them had shown any remorse and, instead, blamed others for their own criminal conduct.
“The Chrisleys are unique given the diverse and broad scope of their fraudulent conduct and the extent to which they engaged in fraudulent and obstructive behavior,” prosecutors wrote.
Todd Chrisley’s attorneys wrote in a court filing that the government never presented any evidence that he intended to defraud any banks and that the loss amount calculated by the government is inaccurate. He also noted that the crimes for which he was convicted were committed long ago. He has no serious criminal history and has medical conditions that “would make imprisonment excessively harsh,” they wrote.
His attorneys presented letters from friends and business associates that show “a history of good deeds and efforts to help others.” People who rely on Chrisley — including “score people” employed by his mother and her television show — will be harmed while he is in prison, his lawyers wrote.
He urged the judge to sentence him to a prison sentence below the guideline range followed by supervised release and reinstatement.
Julie Chrisley’s attorneys wrote in a filing that she had a minimal role in the conspiracy and was not involved in receiving the loans discussed in the sentencing documents. She has no prior convictions, is an asset to her community and has “extraordinary family obligations,” her attorneys wrote, as they asked for a sentence of probation, restitution and community service.
The Chrisley family has three children, one of whom is 16, and also has full custody of Todd Chrisley’s son’s 10-year-old daughter from a former marriage. The filing states that Julie Chrisley is the primary caregiver for her ailing mother-in-law. Her attorneys presented letters from family and friends that show she was “hardworking, selfless, devoted to her family and friends by those who know her, and highly respected as having a strong character.”
If the judge sentences both Chrisleys to prison, Julie Chrisley’s attorneys have asked that her prison terms be reduced so that she can remain on supervised release until her husband serves his sentence or until His granddaughter does not turn 18 years old.