Christian Reality Stars Facing 30 Years in Prison for Fraud

Christian Reality Stars Facing 30 Years in Prison for Fraud August 13, 2019

Todd and Julie Chrisley are facing more than 30 years in prison for defrauding banks and the United States Government. U.S. Attorney BJ Pak announced the indictment in a press conference earlier today.

According to the indictment, Todd and Julie Chrisley committed bank and wire fraud to obtain fraudulent loans to fund their lavish lifestyle. The U.S. Attorney alleges the Chrisley’s forged documents to earn millions of dollars in loans. Additionally, the couple failed to file federal tax returns for the income they received from their series “Chrisley Knows Best.”

In a press conference, Pak stated that the Chrisleys falsified bank documents to obtain millions of dollars in loans from multiple lenders. According to the indictment, the documents contained inflated account balances.

Additionally, the indictment accuses Todd Chrisley of directing one of his employees to falsify documents to help him obtain the loans. When Chrisley leased property in California, he allegedly lied to the landlord about his income and assets. Pak says the federal government has mounting evidence that shows how Chrisley altered bank accounts.

Todd Chrisley’s tax problem started in 2009 when he filed as “Married Filing Single.” On the tax return, Chrisley owed the IRS $701,249. However, he never paid the taxes to the Federal Government. Instead, the indictment alleges that he hid money in shell companies.

Todd Chrisley’s Daughter Lindsie Accuses Him of Extorting her Over Sex Tape

To prevent the IRS from garnishing his businesses and property, Todd Chrisley listed Julie Chrisley as the owner of all their properties and businesses.

When the couple joined “Chrisley Knows Best,” the couple began earning millions of dollars from the production and media deals. The indictment alleges that the Chrisleys funneled their income through a company called 7C Productions.

Todd Chrisley withdrew money from the production company and never claimed the income on his taxes. When his accountant Peter Tarantino filed Federal Company taxes, the documents showed the company lost money.

However, the Chrisleys are alleged to have continually wired money out of the 7C Productions bank account to fund their lavish lifestyles. The government alleges that after 2012, the couple never filed a Federal tax return despite earning millions of dollars through their reality TV show. On the show, Todd Chrisley bragged about spending $300,000 a year on clothing and flaunted his massive mansion.

Documents and email communications between the Chrisleys and bank representatives support the allegation that they defrauded the banks. For example, the government alleges that they sent a Merrill Lynch Bank statement that stated they had $4,000,000 in the account. However, the couple didn’t have any accounts with Merrill Lynch at the time. They later opened an account and deposited approximately $17,000.

Emails obtained by the federal government showed Todd Chrisley asking his accountant to fabricate bank statements. He requested his CPA increase values of accounts that either didn’t exist or had negative balances. The couple used the documents to obtain fraudulent loans and mortgages to fund their lifestyle or pay off other debts.

When his accountant had difficulty creating the documents, Chrisley wrote, “Giving me an excuse as to why you cannot figure this out does not move it off your plate, this is not what we discussed, passing it back and forth is not getting the results requested if you do not know how to do this then find a crooked accountant to do it.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that the couple used fabricated tax returns during this time to secure loans for rental leases, mortgages, and to lease a luxury Bentley convertible. Julie Chrisley is accused of sending the auto dealership multiple years of tax returns that were never filed as proof of their income.

According to the indictment, the couple physically cut out numbers on the bank accounts and glued or taped new numbers on top to show higher balances. In 2014, Julie Chrisley altered her credit report to obtain a lease on a home in California.

The indictment indicates that she obtained her credit report and stored the document on a Google Drive. After printing out the document, she changed her median score from 558 to 770 by cutting out numbers and gluing new ones on top.

Based upon the credit report altered by Julie, the couple secured the lease on the property. However, the couple refused to pay rent in October 2014, which caused the property owner to threaten eviction.

During the time they defrauded banks, the IRS was attempting to collect funds on Todd Chrisley’s 2009 tax return. However, his CPA Peter Tarantino lied to the IRS agents about the Chrisley’s income and whereabouts.

In 2017, a media investigation uncovered that the Chrisley’s owed the state of Georgia over $700,000 to the Department of Revenue. During the investigation, his son Kyle said that his father hid money to avoid taxes.

Learn more about the indictment here:

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On social media and the reality series, Todd Chrisley presents himself as a wealthy Christian man. His Instagram and Twitter accounts are littered with Bible verses and religious quotes to encourage his fans. He often discusses his Christian beliefs and promotes the idea that despite his wealth, he’s incredibly humble.

In multiple images posted by Chrisley, he reminds fans to stay humble and to focus on others. One quote reminds fans not to focus on material possessions but rather to remain humble.


Todd Chrisley denied the charges against him by the Federal Government. On Instagram, Chrisley shared with fans that a disgruntled employee set him up. According to Chrisley, the employee falsified the documents behind his back. He and his wife deny any wrongdoing.

U.S. Attorney Pak says that Chrisley’s Instagram statement is not accurate. According to Pak, the investigation uncovered numerous documents and communications where Chrisley directed his employees to commit fraud.

In his final statement to the press, Pak said that wealth and fame do not exempt someone from being brought to justice. Additionally, Pak said that the Chrisleys face more than 30 years behind bars for the charges. He said the government would request prison time for all parties involved in the fraud.

Todd and Julie Chrisley are expected to turn themselves on August 14. Pak said the couple’s first court appearance would occur later this week.



*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles related to trending topics and crime on her column.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Martin Penwald

    BJ Pak said that wealth and fame do not exempt someone from being brought to justice.

    MOUWAHAHAHA !!!! Good one.
    Care to remind me what punishment Epstein got the first time he got indicted?

  • ephemerol

    How come every time I look at Todd Chrisley, I get the feeling he has another identity as one of the youtube celebs with his own fabulous makeup line?

    If he goes to prison, will the big internet mystery be whatever happened to Jeffree Star?

  • Inigo Montoya

    That’s as American as apple pie and baseball

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Think my shocked face should spend a few more weeks on vacay. MIght be overworked if it comes back now.

  • nmgirl

    When you have to brag about being humble . . .

  • colinday

    If they go to prison, will their show get cancelled? Or will they keep it going with the rest of the family?

  • I’ve felt something was “just off” about him from the first time I saw his smug face. Good to have my instincts validated.

  • Chris Hogue

    This guy and Ted Haggard would make the perfect couple.

  • Jim Jones

    And in other news, Donald J Trump . . .

  • WWJD?

  • Vernon Hampton Jr

    …and here I was thinking that the Lord would provide…

  • johnsoncatman

    They will just have a spin-off: “Chrisley Knows Prison Best”.

  • Raging Bee

    Hey, it worked for Marcus Aurelius!

  • Raging Bee

    Let’s see what kind of scam he starts up as soon as he gets out of prison…

  • Jim Jones

    It’s all their fault for not being really really rich. If they were, they wouldn’t have even been charged – like all the Wall St bankers.


    Never heard of the guy, but good riddance. Nothing worse than a con man throwing a fairytale in your face for the money.

  • Tiffany Smith


  • Vernon Hampton Jr
  • Tuna

    Selling buckets of food. It worked for Jim Bakker.

  • Don Cole

    Most of it went to put all those big teeth in everybody . . .

  • Jane Ravenswood

    and this god still doesn’t smite these people. one might get the idea that it simply doesn’t exist.

    of course, we’ll have TrueChristians(tm) apologizing for them.

  • Jane Ravenswood


  • Beverly Montgomery


  • persephone

    If he goes to prison, he won’t have the regular injections of fillers or the chemical peels, so I’m thinking that’ll be showing in about six months, and really bad in a year.

    How much of the money he stole did he spend on his mug?

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower
  • Chad Boswell

    Tell that quote from BJ toTrump.

  • Richard Crooks

    All of these groups and organizations should be looked over carefully. Onsten and other like him do all of this and never pay tax’s after fleecing the many out of their money.

  • Jessica Streeter

    I forgot all about that until you mentioned it! Bon apetiti Todd!

  • Jessica Streeter

    Their kids were already starring in the spinoff so they’ll probably let them take over….assuming the adult kids don’t get taken down in this mess.

  • Jessica Streeter

    This has been whispered about for years. I enjoyed their show but you always have to take such lavish wealth with a grain of salt. You never see them do any actual work and they always skirted the issue of how they came into these millions.

  • nmgirl

    Always one of my favorite songs.

  • John Ryan

    This is all Trump’s fault!

  • Denton Young
  • Jill Gannaway

    If they do go to prison who will have custody of Grayson and Chloe?

  • If only Trump had actually committed a crime!
    Facts > feelings

  • And the Washington Democrats……

  • Chad Boswell

    Obstruction of Justice is a crime thank you.

  • al kimeea

    he breathes

  • al kimeea

    for the end times. I think

  • al kimeea

    or connected, like former PM, Lyin Brian Mulroney – no charges, penalties or interest for hiding $250,000 income for 6 years and had to pay only 1/2 of the tax owed…

  • Tim Patterson

    LOL, clearly republicon xtians!

  • Tim Patterson

    But you wasted hours of your life watching the “show”. Interesting.

  • Tim Patterson

    Nope, “he” doesn’t. Look at all the starving children in the world. And that’s just one horrific example.

  • Angela Cooter

    Who the hell uses the word Smite? “True Christians” are money hungry a’holes

  • Tuna

    Well, Bakker calls it food.

  • chickadee

    Why are you here? To defend these charlatans? Or are you just trolling to fill the void? Get some help. I mean it.

  • William

    It’s true, Trump never could stop at just one crime. He’s a career criminal. His profession is con man; his hobby, sexual predator.

  • Mr. James Parson

    No, the prison system will provide for all their needs.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Die on the cross for them so that their sins will be forgiven and they can go to heaven.

  • Kevin Morgan

    3 Hots and a cot!

  • G.S.K. herzak

    This Todd Chrisley guy gets my Gaydar up. Something tells me he’s a Grindr-pro!

  • Nemo

    My only knowledge of their show was the fact my dad watches it when he’s sitting around. From what I can tell, it seems to be discount Duck Dynasty, but the star was smart enough not to shoot off his mouth about right wing politics at every occasion. Is that accurate?

  • Kevin Morgan

    Chrisley reminds me of Paul Lynde, no disrespect to Paul Lynde intended.

  • Chris O

    In this case, I’d say Chrisley definitely does NOT know best.

  • abj_slant

    I’ve never watched “Chrisley Knows Best,” but I think I’d enjoy one or two episodes of “Chrisley Behind Bars.”

  • Batty Cat

    But Motivated Reasoning > Facts, apparently.

  • Lauren Greene

    If only you had a brain…

  • Lauren Greene

    Hahahahaha! Oh, wait…you’re serious?