close
close

Reality TV stars involved in further legal dispute


Julie and Todd Chrisley described themselves as real estate magnates in the reality TV show “Chrisley Knows Best.” Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley have been in prison since 2023.

play

While 2023 was a chaotic year for the incarcerated “Chrisley Knows Best” stars, 2024 also proved to be eventful for Todd and Julie Chrisley.

A federal judge has ordered reality TV stars Julie and Todd Chrisley to hand over nearly $30,000 that was deposited in an Alabama trust fund.

According to Fox 5, courts filed a garnishment order on Jan. 11 seeking the funds to pay off the $17 million the couple received following the guilty verdict. The former stars of “Chrisley Knows Best,” which premiered on USA Network and airs on E! Entertainment, were told they had the right to request a court hearing to determine the exempt assets and the right to appeal the law firm's response to the order.

After no word from the Chrisleys, a federal judge on May 16 ordered the law firm to release the money in the couple's IOLTA trust account.

What is an IOLTA account?

An Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) is a type of trust account used by lawyers to responsibly hold client funds.

“Lawyers may need to withhold money for fees, settlement payments and court-awarded damages, to name a few,” says Clio.com. “Using an IOLTA account ensures that all interest earned is sent to state bar associations to support legal aid programs and other charitable initiatives.”

According to court documents, the Chrisleys had invested $29,932.23 in an IOLTA trust.

Where are the Chrisleys now in 2024?

The disgraced reality TV stars are still serving their prison sentences. Todd Chrisley began his 12-year sentence on January 17, 2023, at the Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Florida.

The Pensacola prison is described as a “minimum security federal prison” according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In 2009, FPC Pensacola was listed by Forbes as the second most comfortable prison in America.

According to Forbes, FPC Pensacola's proximity to NAS Pensacola is a rare and desirable perk for inmates, as it gives them access to better jobs and recreational activities. The Tallahassee Democrat reported last year that it housed 350 male inmates.

Julie Chrisley was originally scheduled to serve her sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute Marianna SCP in Jackson County, which is two hours away from FPC Pensacola, but the matriarch was transferred to the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

It is unclear why she was diverted to the Kentucky facility instead. Officials told news portal Insider that they could not disclose any information about the diversion.

Why are reality TV stars Julie and Todd Chrisley in prison?

Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty in June 2022 of tax evasion and defrauding community banks of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans. Julie Chrisley was additionally found guilty of obstruction of justice and wire fraud.

The couple were initially sentenced to 12 and seven years in prison, respectively, in November 2022. In addition to their prison sentences, they each received 16 months' probation from U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross in Atlanta, news outlets reported.

When will Todd and Julie Chrisley be released from prison?

An online check dated June 11, 2024, shows that Todd Chrisley will be released on November 23, 2032, two years earlier than his original sentence. Julie Chrisley's sentence was reduced by 14 months and she will be released on August 20, 2028.

What happened to the Chrisleys’ calling?

In April 2024, a panel of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Atlanta heard arguments from the Chrisleys' attorney to decide whether they might be entitled to a retrial.

According to the Courthouse News Service, the TV stars claim that a federal judge in the US state of Georgia wrongly failed to hold a hearing on their accusation that “an IRS official lied on the witness stand about how much money the defendants owed the IRS at the time of the trial.”

Attorney Alex Little of Burr & Forman argued that prosecutors knew at the time of the trial that the defendants owed nothing to the IRS, but they instructed IRS tax agent Betty Carter to base her testimony on the agency's employee user portal, which showed that the couple still owed several years of taxes.

“The IRS didn't know what it was doing,” Little said. “The left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing.”

In a rebuttal delivered by Assistant U.S. Attorney Annalise Peters, she said there was “absolutely no evidence.” While the government admitted that certain documents presented at trial did not accurately reflect some of the Chrisleys' tax payments, she said the government did not become aware of those inaccuracies until after the trial was over.

“Whether or not taxes were owed at the time of the trial was irrelevant to the prosecution in this case,” Peters said.

A final decision has not yet been made and the judges have not indicated when they will rule on the case. According to WSB-TV 2, it could take up to a year for a decision to be made.

The couple's daughter, Savannah Chrisley, spoke in detail about her parents' reaction to the dispute behind bars in her podcast.

“They've heard the appeal, they've heard the arguments, and now they're just sitting there hoping for change, hoping for something different, hoping for a different outcome,” she told the audience.

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *