US reality TV stars sentenced to prison for fraud, tax evasion
US reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley are sentenced to prison for fraud and tax evasion.
Todd and his wife Julie Chrisley - both stars of reality show "Chrisley Knows Best" were sentenced to federal prison after being convicted of defrauding banks to get over $30 million in personal loans, in addition to evading taxes to feed their high-end lifestyle.
Judge Eleanor Ross of the US District Court in Atlanta sentenced Mr. Chrisley to 12 years in prison, and his wife to 7 years in prison, according to the Justice Department. Ms. Chrisley will be attending the same prison where Ghislaine Maxwell, the infamous sex offender and Jeffrey Epstein's accomplice, is imprisoned.
Upon release, they will be on probation and will have to pay restitution, the amount of which will be announced later, according to the Justice Department.
In June, the couple was convicted of conspiring to defraud banks and evading taxes for several years.
After a 3-week trial, the couple was found guilty on 8 counts of financial fraud and 2 counts of tax evasion. As for Ms. Chrisley, in addition, the woman was convicted on counts of wire fraud and obstructing justice.
In a Monday statement by IRS criminal investigation agent James Dorsey, the Chrisleys committed the crimes “in an effort to minimize their tax liability, but project an image of wealth.”
“This sentencing serves notice that no matter a person’s celebrity status, there are severe consequences for defrauding the American tax system,” Mr. Dorsey said.
Mr. Chrisley could have served over 21 years in prison, whereas his wife could have served over 12 years, according to a sentencing memo. Ms. Chrisley's lawyers requested that she get a shorter sentence, with a “combination of probation, restitution and community service” so that she could care for her children and sick mother. They also requested lowering the sentences for the coupe until their youngest daughter graduates high school, or turns 18.
In recent reports, Ms. Chrisley used her 10-year-old adopted daughter Chloe as an excuse, telling the judge her daughter is suicidal in order to dodge her prison sentence.
On their part, prosecutors said that "the Chrisleys have built an empire based on the lie that their wealth came from dedication and hard work.
"The jury’s unanimous verdict sets the record straight: 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."
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