Todd and Julie Chrisley's attorneys released a lengthy statement denying all wrongdoing as the beloved reality television couple faces charges of bank fraud and tax evasion. The Chrisley Knows Best couple pleaded not guilty in an Atlanta court Wednesday after turning themselves in to authorities on 12 counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion charges.
The Justice Department said the Chrisley's accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also indicted on tax-related offenses. He was not in court for Wednesday's hearing.
The judge released the Chrisley's on $100,000 unsecured bond but ordered them to surrender their passports, limiting their travel beyond parts of Georgia and Tennessee. The attorneys asked for the travel permission so they could continue to film the reality series, which is set in Nashville.
"The allegations contained in the indictment are based on complete falsehoods. The Chrisleys are innocent of all charges," Bruce H. Morris and Stephen Friedberg said in a statement ahed of the court appearance.
They later released a lengthier statement via Deadline which read: "For quite some time now, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia has been conducting an investigation of Todd and Julie Chrisley based for the most part on the demonstrably false allegations of a former officer of a company they owned jointly. We saw the results of this effort yesterday—an indictment against Todd, Julie, and their accountant that relies largely if not entirely on emails that we know Todd never sent but rather were fabricated by this former employee.
"This individual, identified in the indictment only as 'Co-conspirator A,' first approached federal authorities in 2012, claiming he had evidence that Todd had been trying to avoid paying his taxes. What the authorities didn't know, at least initially, was that he had been fired by the Chrisleys after they discovered he had been falsifying documents, forging their signatures, bugging their home, and intimidating other employees into covering up what amounted to a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scheme," they continued. "These and many other criminal misdeeds were detailed in a federal RICO suit that the Chrisleys filed against him in 2012. Ironically, it was this lawsuit that sent him to the U.S. Attorney’s office. He wasn’t looking for justice but for revenge and his “evidence” against Todd consisted mainly of falsified documents.
"Now, seven years later, the government has granted this individual immunity from prosecution for his own crimes and used his false allegations to bring an indictment against the Chrisley."0comments
They ended the statement doubling down on their clients innocence, writing: "We have no doubt that if this case ever reaches a courtroom, Todd and Julie will be completely exonerated. But in the meantime, their reputation will be sullied by a shamefully unjustified prosecution based on testimony of a dishonest source who has somehow managed to successfully mislead prosecutors."
Todd Chrisley spoke with reporters outside of the courthouse after the hearing, saying: "You know we stand in our faith and we stand for what we know is right. You know our family will stick together, walk this rope because we know God will take our hand and take us through."