Reality star couple sentenced to prison are planning to appeal ‘difficult’ conviction
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Featured Image Credit: USA Network/Shutterstock
Todd and Julie Chrisley are set to appeal against their fraud convictions after the pair were sentenced to a total of 19 years in prison yesterday. Here's a short recap of the whole case.
The pair, who became known for their appearances on many reality shows about their lives including Chrisley Knows Best about Todd’s real estate work, were found guilty of defrauding around $30 million through fake statements earlier this year, before being sentenced to jail yesterday in Atlanta.
Todd received a 12-year sentence whilst Julie received seven years.
However, their attorney says that the couple are going to appeal the sentence.
In a statement, family attorney Alex Little said: “Yesterday was a difficult day for the Chrisley family.
“But Todd and Julie are people of faith, and that faith gives them strength as they appeal their convictions,
“Their trial was marred by serious and repeated errors, including the government lying to jurors about what taxes the couple paid.
“Based on these issues, we are optimistic about the road ahead.”
Bruce Morris, another attorney representing Todd Chrisley, said: “An appeal is planned.”
The pair starred alongside other members of their family in shows such as USA Network’s Chrisley Knows Best as well as other shows about their lives.
Those shows have now obviously been cancelled after their sentencing.
Peter Tarantino, an accountant who worked for the family, has also been sentenced to 36 months in prison for his role in the fraud.
During an emotionally charged sentencing hearing yesterday, Assistant US Attorney Annalise Peters told the court: "Of course there is nothing bad about being rich. There is nothing wrong about making lots of money, It's the American dream."
However, she added that this also means paying taxes.
The Chrisleys were convicted of defrauding $30 million by producing fake financial statements that gave off the impression that they were far wealthier than they actually were.
Footage was shown to the court of the pair boasting about their wealth and extravagant lifestyle.
Both defendants addressed the court personally to ask for leniency, with Todd asking for his wife to receive a lower sentence because of their children, who depend on her.
Julie claimed that the children would struggle without their mother, telling the court: "To hear your 10-year-old say she doesn't want to live if their mom goes away, no child should feel that way.”
In sentencing, US District Judge Eleanor Ross said that whilst the situation was bad, the blame had to rest with the parents.
She said: "It is heartbreaking, but it has to be burdened by the defendants,
"I've never heard any acceptance of any crime, I've never really heard any admission to any wrongdoing or any remorse."
Judge Ross said that she had ‘no reason to doubt that both Chrisleys have good hearts,' but added that she could not ‘ignore the greed and flamboyance in this case’.
Both Chrisleys were sentenced below the federal guidelines because of their age, their health, and the fact that they care for Todd’s mother who has bowel cancer.