The legal expert explains that the Chrisley Knows Best stars may be forced to pay “twice the amount stolen,” adding, “It looks like it was over $30 million in loans, so a fine is up to twice the loss amount — or roughly $60 million.”
“I’m sure an appeal will follow, but that process will take several years to resolve,” Haas predicts about the real estate mogul’s next moves.
On Tuesday, June 7, Todd, 53, was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax fraud by an Atlanta federal jury, In Touch confirmed. Julie, 49, was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax fraud and wire fraud. The husband and wife, who wed in 1996, are currently facing up to 30 years in prison.
The reality TV couple were put on trial after they were indicted on five counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of tax fraud. Julie was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. Additionally, the mom of three was accused of creating a fake credit report and false bank statements to rent a home.
Peter Tarantino, the Chrisleys’ accountant, was also on trial and found guilty after he was charged with two counts of willfully filing false tax returns and one count of conspiracy to defraud the government.
Todd, Julie and their accountant previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Whether or not Todd and Julie will have to fork over the money following their guilty verdict, Haas notes, “Fines are rarer in federal court, as there is restitution and forfeiture, as well.”
The court “can seize substitute assets” as forfeiture, meaning the Chrisleys could be forced to give up their assets, such as their homes, cars or other physical property, as part of their sentencing. However, it may be a while before Todd and Julie’s future is figured out.
“Sentencing is usually about three months from now — possibly longer — but not sooner,” Haas says, noting that the “loss amount will be the main component of calculating their sentencing guidelines range.”
Todd and Julie made no qualms about wanting to appeal after being found guilty. “Disappointed in the verdict. An appeal is planned,” the couple’s lawyer said in a statement to Us Weekly on June 7.
Todd previously denied the allegations in a lengthy statement via Instagram after they were indicted in 2019 on 12 counts of tax evasion, bank and wire fraud and conspiracy.
“We have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of,” the father of five wrote at the time, placing the blame on a “trusted employee” who began “stealing” from them. “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.”