Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley in 2017.

Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley in 2017. Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

Reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley were sentenced Monday to lengthy prison terms after being convicted earlier this year on charges including bank fraud and tax evasion.

U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross in Atlanta gave Todd Chrisley 12 years in prison, while Julie Chrisley got 7 years behind bars, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta. Each is to serve 3 years of supervised release afterward, and Ross also ordered them to pay restitution in an amount to be determined later.

The Chrisleys gained fame with their show "Chrisley Knows Best," which follows their tight-knit, boisterous family. Federal prosecutors said the couple engaged in an extensive bank fraud scheme and then hid their wealth from tax authorities while flaunting their lavish lifestyle.

"The Chrisleys have built an empire based on the lie that their wealth came from dedication and hard work," prosecutors wrote in a pre-sentencing court filing. "The jury's unanimous verdict sets the record straight: Todd and Julie Chrisley are career swindlers who have made a living by jumping from one fraud scheme to another, lying to banks, stiffing vendors, and evading taxes at every corner."

Attorneys for Todd Chrisley, 54, had argued in a court filing that he should not face more than 9 years in prison. Attorneys for Julie Chrisley, 49, said a reasonable sentence for her would be probation with special conditions and no prison time.

The Chrisleys were convicted in June on charges of bank fraud, tax evasion and conspiring to defraud the IRS. Julie Chrisley also was convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Peter Tarantino, 60, an accountant hired by the couple, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and willfully filing false tax returns. He was sentenced Monday to 3 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Prosecutors have said the Chrisleys submitted fake documents to banks and managed to secure more than $30 million in fraudulent loans. Once that scheme fell apart, they walked away from their responsibility to repay the loans when Todd Chrisley declared bankruptcy. While in bankruptcy, they started their reality show and "flaunted their wealth and lifestyle to the American public," prosecutors wrote, and then hid from the IRS the millions they made from the show.

The Chrisleys also submitted a false document to a grand jury that was investigating their crimes and then persuaded friends and family members to lie under oath during their trial, prosecutors argued. Neither has shown any remorse and they have, instead, blamed others for their criminal conduct, prosecutors wrote.

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