In 2014, “Chrisley Knows Best” aired for the first time on the USA Network, showcasing a Southern family known for their lavish lifestyle and hilarious family banter. That came to halt when the show’s main stars, Todd and Julie Chrisley, were indicted for tax evasion just five years later.
Now, the couple is heading to jail after being sentenced on Nov. 21, with Todd spending 12 years and Julie spending seven years in prison. Many fans are confused to how the couple got to this point in their careers, so here’s a timeline of the couple’s criminal history:
Aug. 12, 2019
A grand jury indicted Todd and Julie Chrisley for charges of tax evasion. Entertainment Tonight received court documents of the charges, proving that the couple was indicted in multiple accounts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. Peter Tarantino, their accountant, was also indicted for tax-related offenses.
Immediately after the charges met the public eye, Todd denied the charges, claiming that he and Julie were set up by a former employee. Todd also took to Instagram to tell fans that the former employee set out to convince the US Attorney’s Office that the couple was committing financial crimes. The couple stated they had “nothing to hide.”
At the time, Todd also said, "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.”
Aug. 14, 2019
Todd and Julie appeared in an Atlanta court, entering a plea of not guilty. During the court hearing, the couple was granted a $100,000 unsecured bond. They were also ordered to turn in their passports effective immediately, and the court restricted the couple’s travel to middle Tennessee and North Georgia districts. Additionally, the Chrisley’s were ordered to give notice to their probation officers if they needed to travel to California to tape their reality show.
Todd told local Atlanta news station WSB-TV, "We stand in our faith, and we stand in what we know is right. We are fortunate to have the counsel that we have, and our family will stick together, and we'll walk this road because we know that the good Lord will hold our hand and take us through."
Oct. 8, 2019
The Chrisley’s were cleared of their state tax evasion charge. The Georgia Department of Revenue exonerated a couple of the $2 million claims involving their state taxes between 2008 and 2016.
The state found that the Chrisley’s had been overpaying their taxes for some years, with the couple having the net liability of less than $77,000 in overdue taxes for just one year of incorrect filing.
The Department of Revenue said that the couple owed no taxes for 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and were due refunds for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The only year the couple owed money still was for 2009, which was paid by the family.
Yet, Todd and Julie still faced federal charges for allegedly evading federal taxes in the same years.
Oct. 15, 2019
The Chrisley’s filed a lawsuit against the director of the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Office of Special Investigations, saying he abused his power as part of an effort to accuse them of “bogus tax evasion claims.”
In the lawsuit, Todd and Julie said the director, Joshua Waites, targeted their estranged daughter Lindsie as an attempt to “induce her to reveal compromising information about her family,” and to gain media attention for himself.
The couple also claimed that Waites had an “increasingly aggressive relationship with Lindsie,” and did not share their confidential tax and grand jury information properly with the Department of Revenue. Lindsie denied her parents’ allegations.
Aug. 9, 2021
Entertainment Tonight spoke with Todd and Julie in Nashville. The couple claimed that they wouldn’t be in the situation they were in if they did not have a reality show. Julie said, “People ask me all the time, 'What's the best and worst part about having the show and TV and all this?'" added Julie. "And I said, 'Well, imagine every day of your life, going to work with your spouse, with your adult children, with your minor children, and with your mother-in-law...This is a job, but at the end of the day, all the BS has to go away and this is our family.”
May 17, 2022
Todd and Julie’s federal trial began. In opening arguments, the government said that the couple exaggerated their earnings to banks to borrow more than $30 million. According to US Weekly, Assistant US Attorney Annalise Peters said in court, "They made up documents and they lie through their teeth to get whatever they want, whenever they want it.” The Chrisley’s lawyer responded to this claim, saying a former employee was to blame for the fraud and that the couple was not responsible for the charges.
June 7, 2022
The Chrisley’s are found guilty after an almost three-week-long trial. The couple was convicted on all counts in a federal court in Georgia. Todd was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defend the United States and tax fraud. Meanwhile, Julie was convicted of all the same counts as well as wire fraud. The couple’s prison sentences were not known at the time.
June 8, 2022
Todd and Julie’s bond conditions after being found guilty changed to include house confinement and electronic monitoring, causing the couple to be under house arrest until their sentencing. The sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 6, but was later postponed.
The Chrisley’s filed a new motion for a new trial and acquittal, claiming that their initial trial was “fundamentally unfair.” Todd and Julie also said that an IRS Revenue officer lied in their testimony about the couple’s owing taxes “when she knew no taxes were due.”
The couple accused the court of admitting “substantial volumes of evidence at trial which were obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment,” citing financial documents they said were “unlawfully seized” by Georgia’s Department of Revenue and initially suppressed by the court.
Sept. 14, 2022
Todd and Julie’s sentencing date was pushed back from Oct. 6 to Nov. 21 in response to the motion for a new trial.
Oct. 28, 2022
The Chrisley’s joint motion for a new trial was denied by a federal judge, their sentencing date of Nov. 21 staying intact.
Nov. 21, 2022
A federal judge sentenced Todd to 12 years in prison, as well as 16 months probation. Additionally, Julie was sentenced to seven years with 16 months probation. Their accountant was also sentenced to three years in prison.
Following the sentencing, the couple’s shows, “Chrisley Knows Best” and “Growing Up Chrisley,” were canceled.