‘Chrisley Knows Best’ stars charged with federal tax evasion

Crime

CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST — Season:6 — Pictured: (l-r) Chase Chrisley, Grayson Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Chloe Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Faye Chrisley — (Photo by: Dennis Leupold/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) — A federal grand jury in Atlanta on Tuesday indicted reality television star Todd Chrisley on tax evasion and other charges.

The 12-count indictment issued against the “Chrisley Knows Best” star and his wife, Julie, also includes charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States, U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said at a news conference.

Allan Mayer, a representative for Chrisley, said in an email Tuesday afternoon that his client’s lawyers hadn’t seen the indictment and couldn’t comment. Chrisley, in an online post released before the indictment was announced, denied any wrongdoing.

Accountant Peter Tarantino was charged in the indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding the filing of a false tax return. A woman who answered the phone at his office Tuesday afternoon said he was with a client and would have no comment.

“Chrisley Knows Best” follows the tight-knit, boisterous family living in the Nashville area. Much of the series emphasizes Todd Chrisley’s obsessive yet comedic efforts to keep tabs on three of his kids, two of whom are in their 20s, and his mother.

The series has aired on USA for seven seasons and recently premiered a spinoff called “Growing Up Chrisley,” featuring his kids Chase and Savannah, who move to Los Angeles. Todd Chrisley also briefly hosted a talk show, “According to Chrisley,” for the network. Todd and Julie Chrisley also have a podcast called “Chrisley Confessions.”

The family moved to Tennessee a few years ago, but the criminal charges stem from when they lived in Atlanta’s northern suburbs.

Chrisley denied any wrongdoing in a lengthy Instagram post Monday. He said he was aware that he and his wife were going to be named in a federal indictment for tax evasion “and probably a bunch of other financial crimes as well.”

In his post, Chrisley said the charges stem from a dispute with an unidentified former employee who he said was fired after the Chrisleys discovered in 2012 that he was stealing from them. The former employee then retaliated by bringing phony documents to the U.S. attorney’s office and told prosecutors the Chrisleys had committed financial crimes, Chrisley wrote.

“I’m telling you all this now because we have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of,” he wrote. “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.”

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