Todd and Julie Chrisley, a wealthy Southern couple who project a public image as a God-loving, straight-talking husband and wife on the reality TV show “Chrisley Knows Best,” are now facing criminal charges.
This week, a federal grand jury in Atlanta indicted the couple on charges of tax evasion, wire fraud and hiding income from the Internal Revenue Service. The Chrisleys’ accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also indicted on tax-related offenses.
“Todd and Julie Chrisley are charged not only with defrauding a number of banks by fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans, but also with allegedly cheating taxpayers by actively evading paying federal taxes on the money they earned,” Byung J. Pak, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said in a statement on Tuesday announcing the indictment.
Lawyers for the couple, Bruce H. Morris and Stephen M. Friedberg, denied the allegations laid out in the charges, and said a disgruntled former employee had fabricated documents that led to the indictment.
“We have no doubt that if this case ever reaches a courtroom, Todd and Julie will be completely exonerated,” the lawyers said in a statement. “But in the meantime, their reputation will be sullied by a shamefully unjustified prosecution based on testimony of a dishonest source who has somehow managed to successfully mislead prosecutors.”
On Wednesday, the couple appeared in court and pleaded not guilty, vowing to fight the 12-count indictment. They were released on $100,000 bond.
“We stand in our faith, and we stand in what we know is right,” Todd Chrisley said, according to the Atlanta television station