Todd and Julie Chrisley — stars of the cable reality show “Chrisley Knows Best” — got hit with a 12-count federal indictment on Tuesday, accusing them of tax evasion and fraud.
The Georgia natives were charged in the state’s Northern District, along with their accountant, Peter Tarantino.
Their indictment was announced in a press release.
“Todd and Julie Chrisley are charged not only with defrauding a number of banks by fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans, but also with allegedly cheating taxpayers by actively evading paying federal taxes on the money they earned,” said US Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
“Celebrities face the same justice that everyone does,” he added. “These are serious federal charges and they will have their day in court.”
Todd, 50, was apparently aware of the impending indictment on Monday night — posting about it on Instagram.
“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,” he said.
The Tennessee transplant went on to accuse an unidentified man of spying on the family and taking forged documents to federal authorities in an attempt to land the couple behind bars.
“He illegally bugged our home,” Todd wrote. “Needless to say, we fired the guy and took him to court — and that’s when the real trouble started. 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. 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.”
The Chrisleys were reportedly being investigated for tax evasion and illegal claims of residency in 2017. Todd had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy five years earlier — listing $4.2 million in assets and $49.9 million in debts.
“He guaranteed a real estate development loan and it failed,” his attorney, Robert Furr, told People magazine at the time. “He was on the hook for $30 million. If he hadn’t had that happen, he would have been fine, financially.”
According to prosecutors, the Chrisleys allegedly conspired to defraud “numerous banks by providing the banks with false information such as personal financial statements containing false information, and fabricated bank statements when applying for and receiving millions of dollars in loans.”
After doing this, the couple allegedly used “much of the proceeds for their own personal benefit.”
“In 2014, two years after the alleged bank fraud scheme ended, Todd and Julie Chrisley allegedly used fabricated bank statements and a fabricated credit report that had been physically cut and taped or glued together when applying for and obtaining a lease for a home in California,” prosecutors said in Monday’s press release.
They noted how in Feb. 2017, Todd publicly claimed on a national radio program that “obviously the federal government likes my tax returns because I pay $750,000 to $1 million dollars just about every year so the federal government doesn’t have a problem with my taxes.”
However, “Todd and Julie Chrisley allegedly did not timely file income tax returns for the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 tax years or timely pay federal income taxes for any of those years,” according to prosecutors.
“Instead, the Chrisleys and Tarantino allegedly took steps to obstruct IRS collection efforts, which included hiding income, lying to third parties about their tax returns, and — in Tarantino’s case — lying to FBI and IRS-CI Special Agents,” said the US Attorney’s Office.
Todd denied any wrongdoing in his IG post on Monday night.
“I’m telling you all this now because we have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of,” he 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.”
Reps for NBCUniversal, the parent company of USA Network — which has aired seven seasons of “Chrisley Knows Best” — declined to comment on Tuesday’s indictment. The show is currently not in production.