In a quest for fame and fortune, Todd and Julie Chrisley committed years of fraud and tax evasion, leading to long prison sentences for the both.
New Season: The Chrisleys Go To Prison
Credit: Getty Images
January 22, 2023

The creation of Reality TV has led to average people doing just about anything to get their 15 minutes of fame. From dating shows (think of the Bachelor) to competition shows (think of The Amazing Race or Survivor) to family dysfunction shows (think of the Kardashians), there has always been both a desire to BE stars and a desire to WATCH average folks put their lives on tv for our entertainment.

Enter Todd and Julie Chrisley and their weird family. Todd, who has dealt with rumors about his sexuality for...ever, his completely in denial wife, his dysfunctional relationship with some of his kids. Well, that is good tv. For some people. Personally, I hated the show. I disliked every single person in that family. And it appears my disgust was well founded, as the lead characters are both convicted felons who are now in prison.

The USA Network show was called “Chrisley Knows Best” but apparently he didn't know best about how to stay out of prison. The family was based in the deep south, complete with strong accents, grotesquely ugly and over to top clothes, hair and lifestyle. Well, it appears that lifestyle was a facade, as both Todd and Julie were convicted in November of fraud and tax evasion. Todd was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, Julie was sentenced to 7. How much did they crime to get that kind of sentence? Well, they bilked community banks out of more than $30 million dollars and avoided paying federal taxes for years.

That is a lot of criming.

In addition to Todd and Julie changing their address to a federal prison, their accountant was also sentenced for 3 years. Todd's former business partner turned witness and was granted immunity. According to Business Insider, Mark Braddock testified in the Chrisleys’ ongoing federal fraud trial in Atlanta Tuesday that he and Todd, 53, were intimate for about a year in the early 2000s and paid off a blackmailer to keep the affair a secret.

The Washington Post reports that the couple reported to prison on Tuesday morning. Todd will be spending his time maxing and relaxing at FPC Pensacola in Florida and Julie will be taking a lengthy vacation at FMC Lexington in Kentucky.

In totally normal fashion, the Chrisleys have maintained their innocence and their attorneys are working on an appeal. They are convinced that they were targeted because they are famous, not because they actually committed crimes. Prosecutors made a pretty strong case, though. In addition to defrauding banks and not paying taxes (hard to claim you didn't do anything wrong if you DID NOT pay taxes for years on end) they also allegedly used fake bank statements and credit reports to fraudulently obtain a lease on a home. That is illegal. And also an easily provable crime.

New show title: "Chrisley Knows Crime: How To Make The Most Of Prison"

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