Bankruptcy, fame and prison: The rise and fall of Todd and Julie Chrisley
(CNN) — In the 2014 premiere of “Chrisley Knows Best,” Atlanta real estate tycoon Todd Chrisley gives the cameras a tour of his pristinely organized closet, bragging that his family spends about $300,000 a year “sometimes more” on clothing alone.
Chrisley — along with his family, which includes wife Julie Chrisley — became famous for showing off their opulent lifestyle on their USA Network TV show.
Less than a decade later, reality has caught up with the reality TV family.
In June, Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud banks out of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans and evading taxes, and last month, they were sentenced to federal prison for their convictions.
“I have been really reading and praying and praying with my prayer partner and believing that the journey that we’re all on, that there is a reason. There is a purpose,” Julie Chrisley said on the latest episode the family’s “Chrisley Confessions” podcast.
Todd Chrisley was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while Julie Chrisley was sentenced to seven years. Upon their release, they will both be on probation for three years.
The two have maintained their innocence and their lawyers have said the couple plans to appeal the verdict in their case.
They are ordered to report to prisons in Florida in mid-January to begin serving their sentences — a world that will be a far cry from the lavish surroundings that they became famous for.
“I believe that the true growth comes at the deepest part of the pain,” Todd Chrisley added on their podcast. “I believe that the harder it gets, the closer to God we need to cling.”
Here’s an overview of the Chrisley ups and downs.
Todd and Julie Chrisley wed and the couple welcomes their first child together, son Chase. Daughter Savannah is born the following year. Grayson Chrisley, their third child, is born in 2006. (Todd Chrisley also has two children from a previous marriage, daughter Lindsie and son Kyle.)
Julie Chrisley is diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoes a double mastectomy. She later reflected on the support her husband offered through her treatment in a 2018 interview with The Tennessean.
“I truly believe that that moment took our relationship to a whole other level,” she told the publication.
“Chrisley Knows Best” debuts in March, highlighting the family’s well-to-do lifestyle. Behind the scenes, prosecutors would later allege, the two were in financial trouble.
The couple gains custody of son Kyle Chrisley and Angela Johnson’s daughter, Chloe, following her birth one year prior. In a Facebook post years later, Kyle opened up about his problem with substance abuse.
“I haven’t been the best dad to Chloe, I’ve had a problem with drugs, I’ve acted completely ridiculous and through all that, they have stood by my side,” he wrote in August 2019.
As the show’s popularity grows, Todd Chrisley picks up the reality king award at the American Reality Television Awards.
“Chrlsley Knows Best” airs its landmark 100th episode. In August, the first episode of the couple’s podcast, “Chrisley Confessions,” debuts with the iHeartRadio network.
The couple is indicted in multiple accounts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion.
Todd Chrisley denies the charges, saying he and his wife have “nothing to hide” and were set up by a former employee.
The couple’s federal trial begins with the government saying in opening statements that the Chrisley’s exaggerated their earnings to banks and borrowed more than $30 million that they couldn’t pay back.
The Chrisley’s blame a former employee for duping them in their opening statement, according to Insider.
Prosecutors argue the Chrisleys hid millions in income from their TV show from the IRS. The couple was also found to have not paid taxes or filed tax returns from 2013 to 2016.
After a three week long trial, the Chrisley’s are found guilty and are convicted on all counts in a federal court in Georgia.
Todd Chrisley is hit with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defend the United States and tax fraud.
Julie Chrisley is convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defend the United States, tax fraud and wire fraud.
The couple are put under house arrest and are under electronic monitoring until their sentencing.
The sentencing dates for the two are pushed to Nov. 21 after they file a motion for a new trial. The joint motion is denied by the judge.
Todd Chrisley is sentenced to 12 years in prison and 16 months probation. Julie is sentenced to seven years and 16 months probation.
Deadline reports “Chrisley Knows Best” and its spinoffs “Growing Up Chrisley” and “Love Limo” have all been canceled.
USA Network will air a shortened Season 10 in 2023.