Chrisley Knows Best: Charges and Penalties Explained


Todd and Julie Chrisley are a husband-and-wife team that rose to fame for their reality TV show “Chrisley Knows Best.” However, the couple found themselves in legal trouble in August 2019, when they were charged with a dozen counts of financial white collar crimes, including conspiracy to defraud banks, wire fraud, and tax evasion.

White-collar crimes, like those the Chrisleys are charged with, refer to non-violent financial crimes committed by individuals in positions of trust or responsibility. In this case, the charges relate to the couple’s alleged manipulation of their finances to defraud banks and the IRS.

The Chrisleys denied the charges and claimed that they are the victims of a “witch hunt.” In terms of potential defenses, the couple has the right to present evidence and argue that the charges are based on circumstantial evidence or false accusations. They may also argue that they were unaware of any illegal activity, that they acted in good faith or they were acting in accordance with their accountant’s advice. However, in Mid 2022 the trial jury found both Todd and Julie Chrisley guilty on all counts. They were sentenced in November of 2022 to multi-year prison sentences.

In cases of white-collar crime, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had the intent to defraud, and this can be a challenge for the government. The Chrisleys could have argued that any discrepancies in their finances were the result of misunderstandings or errors, rather than a deliberate attempt to deceive.

What must be proven when charging someone with bank fraud

It is important to note that in cases of conspiracy to defraud banks and the IRS, the government must prove that the defendant entered into an agreement with one or more people to engage in illegal activity. The government had alleged that the Chrisleys committed numerous different related criminal activities over the course of a decade. First, the couple engaged in bank fraud by purposefully misrepresenting assets, providing fake audits and bank statements. Then, after landing a reality TV deal with USA Network, they tried to defraud the IRS by evading collection of delinquent taxes.

The charges faced by Todd and Julie Chrisley relate to the broader category of white-collar crimes, which refer to non-violent financial crimes committed by individuals in positions of trust or responsibility. While the couple had a range of potential defenses available to them, the government needed to prove that they had the intent to defraud, which can be challenging in these types of cases. Still, the government won its case and the famous reality TV couple will spend some years behind bars before they can get back on their feet.


Related Posts