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Reality TV star Julie Chrisley’s fraud sentence vacated
Reality TV star Julie Chrisley’s fraud sentence vacated
Reality TV star Julie Chrisley’s fraud sentence vacated

Published on: 06/21/2024

Description

(AP) - Reality TV star Julie Chrisley’s sentence for bank fraud and tax evasion was thrown out Friday by federal appeals judges, who ordered a lower court to redo her punishment over what the appellate panel called a “narrow issue.”

The Chrisleys initially were charged in August 2019. In June 2022, a jury found them guilty of conspiring to defraud community banks out of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans. They also were found guilty of tax evasion and conspiring to defraud the IRS, and Julie Chrisley was convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Their account, Peter Tarantino, was also tried and convicted.

Prosecutors 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,” and then hid the millions they made from the show from the IRS, prosecutors said.

Todd Chrisley’s lawyers said in a filing that the government never produced any evidence that he meant to defraud the banks, and that the loss amount calculated was incorrect.

Julie Chrisley’s lawyers contended that she played a minimal role in the conspiracy and was not involved when the loans discussed in sentencing documents were obtained.

A lawyer for Tarantino argued in a filing with the appeals court that his client was harmed by being tried with the Chrisleys and he urged the court to reverse Tarantino’s conviction and return his case to the lower court for a new trial.

While Tarantino did certain things that ended up facilitating the Chrisleys’ fraudulent conduct, there was no evidence he did anything intentionally to facilitate that conduct. Jurors ended up confused and biased, which caused them to convict all three defendants on all counts they faced, his lawyer wrote.

Prosecutors say there was substantial evidence demonstrating Tarantino’s personal involvement and he can’t demonstrate actual, compelling evidence that he was harmed by being tried along with the Chrisleys.

In a per curiam opinion, judges for the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld Todd Chrisley and Tarantino’s convictions, but vacated Julie Chrisley’s.

The vacation of the sentence specifically concerns bank fraud that allegedly began in the mid-2000s.

The opinion states, “The district court erred in holding Julie Chrisley responsible for losses incurred in 2006 without explaining its basis for doing so.”

According to the appeals court, the district provided evidence that Julie Chrisley was involved in the scheme beginning in 2007, but did not present evidence to support the claim that she was involved in 2006.

That lack of evidence changes “what the proper loss amount attributable to Julie is for purposes of the base offense level, restitution, and forfeiture.”

Her sentence has been sent back to the district court “for the sole purpose of making necessary factual findings and calculations as to the proper loss, restitution, and forfeiture amounts, and any required changes to the sentence that those findings warrant.”

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

News Source : https://www.walb.com/2024/06/22/reality-tv-star-julie-chrisleys-fraud-sentence-vacated/

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