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Todd and Julie Chrisley are in custody after being charged with tax evasion and fraud, official says

The couple surrendered to authorities early Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office told CNN.

They are expected to appear before a federal judge later today, spokesman Bob Page said.

The Chrisleys are the stars of “Chrisley Knows Best”, a USA Network reality TV series that follows their family’s lifestyle and exaggerated activities.

The 12-count indictment, obtained by CNN, also alleges the Chrisleys committed bank fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, among other offenses. Peter Tarantino, the Chrisley’s accountant, has also been charged with tax offenses.

In a statement released Wednesday, Bruce H. Morris and Stephen M. Friedberg, attorneys for Todd and Julie Chrisley, said they had “no doubt that if this case ever made it to a courtroom, Todd and Julie would be completely exonerated “.

“But in the meantime, their reputation will be tarnished by a shamefully unwarranted lawsuit based on the testimony of a dishonest source who has successfully deceived prosecutors,” the statement said.

Before the indictment was released on Tuesday, Todd Chrisley denied the allegations in an Instagram post, implying that the charges are based on evidence presented to investigators by a disgruntled former employee.

He alleged that this employee, whom he did not name, was stealing from the family, creating false documents, forging their signatures and wiretapping their home. Chrisley said this was the employee’s second attempt to charge the family and called it a retaliatory act.

“I am telling you all of this now because we have nothing to hide and have nothing to do to be ashamed of,” he wrote on Instagram. “Not only do we know we haven’t done anything wrong, but we have a ton of hard evidence and a bunch of corroborating witnesses to prove it.”

Chrisley wrote that the former employee’s alleged crimes included “all kinds of really bad stuff, like creating false documents, forging our signatures and threatening violence against other employees if they said anything. that is”.

In a statement announcing the indictment, US Attorney BJay Pak said the Chrisleys were charged with “not only defrauding a number of New Mexico Bankruptcy banks by fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans, but also having allegedly tricked taxpayers into actively avoiding paying federal taxes on the money they earned.

“Celebrities face the same justice as everyone else. These are serious federal charges and they will have their time in court,” Pak added.

“Find a rogue accountant”

The indictment indicates that between 2007 and 2012, the Chrisleys allegedly submitted false banking and financial statements to obtain loans worth millions, the indictment says.

“During the plot, Todd Chrisley ordered a co-conspirator to send false information to the banks,” the indictment reads. For example, in 2008 a bank said it would not renew a loan without up-to-date financial information and Chrisley allegedly ordered the co-conspirator to do so, even though the couple did not have the funds.

“If you don’t know how to do this, then find a rogue accountant to do it,” he reportedly said. in an email, according to the indictment.

In a statement, Morris and Freidberg said the emails were “never sent” by Todd Chrisley and “made by this former employee.”

Throughout the conspiracy, they allegedly submitted false documents to banks listing inflated account balances, personal financial statements containing false information on available funds, false invoices and false audit documents.

“As a result of misrepresentation … a number of banks have granted the conspirators millions of dollars in loans, much of which Todd and Julie Chrisley used for their personal benefit,” the documents say.

In a 2012 affidavit, Chrisley said he was unaware the co-conspirator submitted the documents and accused him of using their accountant’s stationery and signature without their consent.

Indictment details alleged false documents in rental agreement

Even after their relationship with the co-conspirator ended, the couple continued to submit false documents, according to the indictment.

For example, during a lease application process for a house in California, the landlord wanted Julie Chrisley to provide a credit report and bank statements showing the couple had at least $ 486,000 in their accounts, according to the indictment.

“When she applied to rent the house in July 2014, Julie Chrisley forwarded several fabricated documents that had been physically cut and then glued or taped together, and Todd Chrisley sent an email containing a false statement about the funds available to them. Chrisley, “he says.

“On July 23, 2014, Julie Chrisley emailed the real estate agent attaching a City National Bank account statement showing an account balance as of June 30, 2014 of $ 86,790.86. City National’s bank account had a negative balance of $ 14,530.89 as of June 2014, the indictment claims.

The numbers were said to have been cut and glued or glued together to make the accounts appear to have more funds, according to the indictment.

On July 26, 2014, Julie Chrisley sent a copy of a bank statement for that month showing a balance of $ 409,738.85 while the account had a zero balance, he said.

Julie Chrisley also sent in a fake credit report showing her scores were between the mid-700s and 800s, when they were actually in the 500s, according to the indictment. Again, the numbers had been chopped up and recorded to make it look like his credit scores were higher, he says.

After signing the lease and starting to use the property, they failed to pay their rent in October 2014, according to the indictment, and the landlord had to threaten them with eviction.

Tax evasion claims

Around 2010, the couple and a third person conspired to defraud the IRS, according to the indictment.

The couple formed a company called 7C’s Productions and had third parties send money there, according to the indictment. Todd Chrisley controlled the business and had access to his bank accounts, but he was not listed as the owner in documents filed with the Georgia and Tennessee Secretaries of State, according to the indictment. The family owned homes in both states.

Julie Chrisley was on the company’s business documents and had signing authority over its bank accounts, but Todd Chrisley controlled her, according to the indictment.

His information was kept out of documents to prevent the IRS from determining his income, according to the indictment.

The couple made significant “personal expenses” even though they had “significant tax obligations,” the indictment says. They also failed to “timely file federal income tax returns or pay income taxes for the 2013, 2014, 2015 or 2016 tax years,” according to the indictment.

“Chrisley Knows Best” has aired on USA Network since 2014 for a total of seven seasons.

CNN’s Tina Burnside, Chuck Johnston and Jaquetta White contributed to this report