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Todd Chrisley, wife Julie found guilty of bank fraud, tax evasion

Todd Chrisley, wife Julie found guilty of bank fraud, tax evasion
TV personalities Todd Chrisley (L) and Julie Chrisley attend the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 2, 2017, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 7 (UPI) -- Reality television stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty Tuesday in Atlanta on federal charges including bank fraud and tax evasion.

The celebrity couple was initially indicted in August 2019, and a new indictment was filed in February. Their trial started three weeks ago, and a federal jury found them guilty of conspiring to defraud community banks out of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans.

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The Chrisleys also were convicted of conspiring to defraud the IRS and tax evasion, and Julie Chrisley was found guilty of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

In addition, the pair's former attorney, Peter Tarantino, was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and willfully filing false tax returns.

"As today's outcome shows, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position," Keri Farley, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, said in a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. "In the end, when driven by greed, the verdict of guilty on all counts for these three defendants proves once again that financial crimes do not pay."

Federal prosecutors accused the Chrisleys -- who found fame in 2013 when USA Network picked up their reality series Chrisley Knows Best -- of manipulating financial records to make it appear as if they were wealthier when applying for more than $30 million in loans from 2007-12.

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Todd Chrisley then filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and walked away from $20 million in debt. Shortly after, the Chrisleys, with the help of Tarantino, used a production company they controlled to hide money they made from the reality show, according to prosecutors, keeping the IRS from collecting unpaid taxes.

Prosecutors said Julie Chrisley also submitted a falsified credit report and fraudulent bank statements when attempting to rent a house in California.

Sentencing for all three is set for Oct. 6. The Chrisleys face up to 30 years in prison.

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