UPDATE 8/14 4:50 p.m. ET: One day after Todd Chrisley denied wrongdoing on Instagram, he and his wife, Julie, were charged with tax evasion, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
A federal grand jury in Atlanta issued a 12-count indictment against the Chrisley Knows Best couple on Tuesday, August 13, U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak told reporters. Accountant Peter Tarantino was also charged in the indictment, accused of conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding the filing of a false tax return. The couple surrendered to authorities and were taken into custody on Wednesday, August 14. After their arraignment, they posted bond and subsequently exited the Atlanta courthouse.
Original story below:
Todd Chrisley is breaking the news of his possible indictment on tax fraud charges, denying the allegations and blaming the potential legal trouble on one of his family’s former employees.
“I’ve never talked about this publicly before, but there’s been a cloud hanging over Julie and me and our entire family for the past seven years,” the Chrisley Knows Best star, 50, wrote on Instagram on Monday, August 12, mentioning his wife of more than two decades.
He went on: “It all started back in 2012, when we discovered that a trusted employee of ours had been stealing from us big time. I won’t go into details, but it involved all kinds of really bad stuff like creating phony documents forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything. We even discovered that he illegally bugged our home.”
But “the real trouble started” after the family fired the man, Todd wrote in the post. “To get revenge, he took a bunch of his phony documents to the U.S. Attorney’s office and told them we had committed all kinds of financial crimes, like tax evasion and bank fraud,” he claimed. “That got their attention all right, but once we had a chance to explain who he was and what he’d done to us, they realized it was all a bunch of nonsense and they sent him on his way.”
Then, however, the man “persuaded a different set of investigators at the U.S. Attorney’s office not only to reopen the case but also to grant him immunity from prosecution for his own crimes and bring charges against us,” Todd wrote.
“As a result, it looks like later this week Julie and I are going to be named in a federal indictment charging us with tax evasion and probably a bunch over other financial crimes as well,” he concluded. “I’m telling you all this now because we have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of. Not only do we know we’ve done nothing wrong, but we’ve got a ton of hard evidence and a bunch of corroborating witnesses that proves it.”
Todd and Julie, 46, have three children — 23-year-old son Chase, 22-year-old daughter Savannah and 13-year-old son Grayson — all of whom costar with them on the USA reality series. He also has two children, 29-year-old daughter Lindsie and 27-year-old son Kyle, from a prior relationship.
Lindsie spoke out about the situation via her lawyer. “Lindsie would like to thank all of her fans and supporters. The circumstances Todd and Julie find themselves in, is quite unfortunate,” her attorney said in a statement. “It was reported that Lindsie was the source of the information that led to her father’s arrest. That is untrue, she was not the source of this information. Lindsie has been a constant target of lies, harassment and threats from her family and as a result, has been distancing herself from the Chrisley family since 2017. Lindsie is currently processing the events that have unfolded. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and pray for a just resolution.”
After the Chrisleys’ were charged, their attorneys sent out a statement on Thursday, August 15, claiming that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia “has been conducting an investigation of Todd and Julie Chrisley based for the most part on the demonstrably false allegations of a former officer of a company they owned jointly.”
The statement continued that the indictment “relies largely if not entirely on emails that we know Todd never sent but rather were fabricated by this former employee.”
Identified as “Co-conspirator A,” the lawyers claim he “had been fired by the Chrisleys after they discovered he had been falsifying documents, forging their signatures, bugging their home, and intimidating other employees into covering up what amounted to a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scheme.”
The statement concluded, “He wasn’t looking for justice but for revenge … We have no doubt that if this case ever reaches a courtroom, Todd and Julie will be completely exonerated. 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.”
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