Reality stars are sentenced to prison for a ’15-year scam’

Reality stars are sentenced to prison for a ’15-year scam’

It turns out the Chrisleys should have known better.

Todd and Julie Chrisley, stars of the reality TV show “Chrisley Knows Best,” were sentenced in an Atlanta court today to several years in prison for defrauding banks of $30 million and committing tax fraud.

The sentence marks the latest chapter in the spectacular fall of the reality star couple who once led USA Network’s top-rated original series.

Their show, which revolves around the lives of a Georgia real estate magnate and his wealthy family, was so popular that USA planned a spinoff series, and E! was also set to launch a series with them.

But the only series Chrisleys will be participating in now is next year in prison. A federal judge sentenced Todd Chrisley to 12 years plus 16 months of probation. His wife, Julie, received seven years in prison plus 16 months of probation.

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“Career Scammers”

Last June, a jury found the couple guilty of criminal bank fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors said the Chrisleys falsified documents to obtain $30 million in bank loans that they used to finance their lavish lifestyle. Unable to repay the loans, Todd Chrisley declared bankruptcy.

During that bankruptcy, the couple started their reality show in 2014 and “highlighted their wealth and lifestyle to the American public,” prosecutors said. They also used a film production company to hide millions of dollars from the IRS they earned from the show.

Calling their actions a “15-year fraud spree,” prosecutors wrote after the trial: “The Chrisleys have built an empire based on the lie that their wealth came from dedication and hard work. The jury’s unanimous verdict sets the record straight: Todd and Julie Chrisley are career fraudsters who have made a living by jumping from one fraud scheme to another, lying to banks, stiffing salesmen and evading taxes at every corner.”

To this day, the Chrisleys say they did nothing wrong because someone else was in control of their finances.

Todd Chrisley’s attorneys asked the judge to give their client a reduced prison term, noting that he had no serious criminal history and has medical conditions that “would make the incarceration disproportionately harsh.”

They also submitted letters from friends and business associates showing “a history of good deeds and striving to help others.”

Julie Chrisley’s lawyers argued that she had a minimal role in the scheme and that she is the primary carer for her ailing mother-in-law. Her lawyers submitted letters from family and friends that said she is “hard-working, unfailingly selfless, devoted to her family and friends, highly respected by all who know her, and strong in character.”

But the judge was unmoved and sentenced them within the guidelines.

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