Self-made Atlanta-based millionaire Todd Chrisley has made headlines over the past 24 hours, as he and his wife Julie were sentenced to a combined 19 years in federal prison on Monday.
But if you’ve seen the headlines but aren’t quite familiar with who, exactly, Todd Chrisley and his wife Julie are and why the “Chrisley Knows Best” stars’ prison sentence is such a big deal, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Todd Chrisley Get Famous?
Michael Todd Chrisley, who goes by the name Todd, began his career in real estate. He flipped houses with a combination of good style taste and strong work ethic, fixing them up before moving onto the next project. His real estate firm, Chrisley Asset Management, suffered a major blow from the 2008 financial crisis, but then he found footing in reality TV with the show “Chrisley Knows Best.”
Julie Chrisley is Todd’s second wife. Todd first married his high school sweetheart Teresa Terry in 1990. Three years later, they split up, and Todd married Julie in 1996. Todd and Teresa share children Lindsie and Kyle. Todd and Julie share son Chase, daughter Savannah and son Grayson.
Chrisley and his family rose to fame on “Chrisley Knows Best,” which was conceived when All3nMedia and Maverick Television pitched Todd an idea for a reality TV show in 2014. The two media companies offered to put together a short sizzle reel that drew attention and offers from 10 different networks. It launched in 2014 on USA Network and was an instant ratings hit, particularly with younger viewers.
“Chrisley Knows Best” was renewed for a tenth season before its star couple was convicted of fraud and tax evasion.
“Growing Up Chrisley” stars Chase and Savannah Chrisley, chronicling how the children spread their wings and branch out from living with their parents. The spinoff show ran for three seasons on USA Network, moving to E! for its fourth season.
Julie Chrisley also starred in the webseries “What’s Cooking with Julie Chrisley.”
A forthcoming project involving Todd Chrisley, known as “Love Limo,” was ordered by E!, but in light of the recent sentencing, plans for distribution may be put on hold. In the show, Chrisley would play the role of host, guiding a group of singletons looking for love.
Why Are Todd and Julie Chrisley Going to Prison?
Todd Chrisley and his second wife Julie were convicted of tax evadion and bank fraud in June 2022.
Monday Nov. 21, Todd was been sentenced to 12 years in prison, and Julie was senteced to seven years. The couple’s “15-year fraud spree” consisted of the alleged use of fake paperwork that gained them $30 million in bank loans. The couple then defaulted on more than $20 million in debt when Todd declared bankruptcy in 2012. They also hid large amounts of money earned from their show from the IRS.
Both Chrisleys were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax fraud. Julie Chrisley was also charged with wire fraud and obstruction of justice.