Todd and Julie Chrisley, the leads of USA Network’s reality TV show Chrisley Knows Best, were sentenced to a combined 19 years in prison. Todd Chrisley was sentenced to 12 years with 16 months probation, Deadline reports. Meanwhile, wife Julie was sentenced to 7 years in prison plus 16 months probation.
The Chrisley’s accountant, Peter Tarantino, was sentenced to three years in prison today. This was after being found guilty of filing two false corporate tax returns. He will start his sentence next May but first needs to recover from hip surgery.
Even though Todd and Julie Chrisley could have been sentenced to 22 and 12 years respectively, they got a lighter sentence than expected after being found guilty of several crimes. These include defrauding community banks out of millions of dollars via fraudulent loans, as well as tax evasion and wire fraud. What’s worse for the USA Network stars is that their unscripted shows are unsurprisingly no longer running.
It’s rumored that NBCUniversal has canceled Chrisley Knows Best, as well as its spin-off series Growing Up Chrisley. There has been no official confirmation from NBCUniversal yet. The reality TV show followed the real-life family of Todd Chrisley, a self-proclaimed real estate tycoon and his wife Julie. It also showcased their children Chase and Savannah as they go about their daily lives.
The ‘Chrisley Knows Best’ stars had upcoming projects shelved following the convictions
A month before the convictions, Chrisley Knows Best was renewed for a tenth season. USA Network will air a handful of episodes, filmed before the trial and belonging to this season, next year. After three seasons on USA Network, Growing Up Chrisley‘s fourth season ended its run in October moved to E!.
E! had also ordered a dating format entitled Love Limo, that was set to be hosted by Todd Chrisley with a group of singles putting their dating life into his hands. However, this project has been scrapped as well.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that the accused TV stars lied about their income and submitted fake bank statements and audit reports to dupe banks into loaning them millions of dollars which they then allegedly used to buy luxury items, real estate, travel, etc., instead of using it for its intended purpose. They took out new loans to repay old ones–essentially stealing from one institution to give back another.
Todd Chrisley spent all the money and then some, eventually racking up more than $20 million in fraudulently obtained loans. He filed for bankruptcy soon after.
In June, James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, weighed in on the convictions. “These convictions should send a clear message regardless of your fame or notoriety, everyone will be held accountable for paying their fair share of taxes”, Dorsey said. Meanwhile Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta also added to the conversation “When you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position,” Farley warned.