Reality stars are sentenced to prison for a ’15-year fraud spree’

Turns out, the Chrisleys should have known better.

Todd and Julie Chrisley, stars of the reality show “Chrisley Knows Best,” were sentenced today in an Atlanta court to several years in prison for defrauding banks of $30 million and committing tax fraud.

The phrase marks the final chapter in the spectacular downfall of the reality star couple who once headlined USA Network’s top-rated original series.

His show, which revolves around the life of a Georgia real estate mogul and his wealthy family, was so popular that the US was planning a spin-off series, and E! he was also set to launch a series with them.

But the only series the Chrisleys will be involved in right now is consecutive years in prison. A federal judge sentenced Todd Chrisley to 12 years plus 16 months probation. His wife, Julie, received seven years in prison plus 16 months of probation.

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‘Career scammers’

Last June, a jury found the couple guilty of criminal bank fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors said the Chrisleys falsified documents to obtain $30 million in bank loans that they used to finance their lavish lifestyle. When he couldn’t pay back the loans, Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy.

During this bankruptcy, the couple began their reality show in 2014 and “bragged about their wealth and lifestyle to the American public,” prosecutors said. They also used a movie production company to hide millions of dollars from the IRS that they made from the show.

Calling their actions a “15-year wave of fraud,” prosecutors wrote after the trial: “The Chrisleys have built an empire based on the lie that their wealth came from dedication and hard work. The jury’s unanimous verdict sets the record straight: Todd and Julie Chrisley are career con artists who have made their living jumping from one fraud scheme to another, lying to banks, ripping off vendors, and dodging taxes at every turn.”

To this day, the Chrisleys say they did nothing wrong as someone else was in control of their finances.

Todd Chrisley’s lawyers asked the judge to give their client a reduced prison sentence, noting that he had no serious criminal record and had medical conditions that “would make imprisonment disproportionately harsh.”

They also submitted letters from friends and business associates showing “a record of good works and efforts to help others.”

Julie Chrisley’s lawyers argued that she had a minimal role in the scheme and that she is the primary caregiver for her ailing mother-in-law. Her lawyers presented letters from family and friends saying she is “hard-working, unfailingly selfless, devoted to her family and friends, well respected by all who know her and strong-willed.”

But the judge was undeterred and sentenced them within the range of the guidelines.

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