'Chrisley Knows Best' stars plead not guilty to financial crimes, released on $100,000 bond

Todd and Julie Chrisley pleaded not guilty to tax evasion and other federal charges in a Georgia court on Wednesday. The stars of Chrisley Knows Best surrendered to authorities earlier in the day. According to reports, Todd and Julie were each released on $100,000 unsecured appearance bonds. A federal judge ruled their travel will be restricted to Atlanta, parts of Tennessee and California where they can film their reality show; however, the couple must notify their probation officers first.

Todd appeared happy leaving court, Julie more stoic, in a video obtained by TMZ. "We're going to fight it and we're going to win it," the Chrisleys' lawyer said. "They are innocent of every single charge."

The Chrisleys’ attorneys, Bruce H. Morris and Stephen M. Friedberg, issued a statement to Yahoo Entertainment after court Wednesday:

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. 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. 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.

The reality TV stars have been indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. The Chrisleys' accountant, Peter Tarantino, has also been indicted on tax-related offenses. In a statement on Instagram, Todd preemptively denied the charges, alleging a disgruntled employee set them up.

"It all started back in 2012, when we discovered that a trusted employee of ours had been stealing from us big time," he wrote, claiming this person created "phony documents" and forged their signatures. The employee was fired and according to Todd, "took his phony documents to the U.S. Attorney's office and told them we had committed all kinds of financial crimes, like tax evasion and bank fraud."

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UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JUNE 18: Reality TV Personalities Julie Chrisley (L) and Todd Chrisley (R) visit Hallmark's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 18, 2018 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 15: (L-R) Chase Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, and Todd Chrisley attend the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 24: (L-R) Julie Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Chase Chrisley and Todd Chrisley from reality show, Chrisley Knows Best, attend the 17th annual Waiting for Wishes celebrity dinner at The Palm on April 24, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for The Kevin Carter Foundation)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 02: Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley arrive at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards held at T-Mobile Arena on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- Season:6 -- Pictured: (l-r) Chase Chrisley, Grayson Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Chloe Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Faye Chrisley -- (Photo by: Dennis Leupold/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Chloe Chrisley, Grayson Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Chase Chrisley -- (Photo by: Cythina Hicks/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 02: (L-R) TV personalities Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley, and Savannah Chrisley attend the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards at Toshiba Plaza on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2017/FilmMagic for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 02: TV personalities Todd Chrisley (L) and Julie Chrisley attend the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards at Toshiba Plaza on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Mannequin Challenge" Episode 505 -- Pictured: (l-r) Julie Chrisley, Faye Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Lindsie Chrisley -- (Photo by: Cythina Hicks/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Message in a Bottle Rocket" Episode 420 -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley -- (Photo by: Mark Hill/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Message in a Bottle Rocket" Episode 420 -- Pictured: (l-r) Julie Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Faye Chrisley, Lindsie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley -- (Photo by: Mark Hill/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 01: Savannah Chrisley, Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley, Chase Chrisley and Lindsie Chrisley attend the 2016 NBCUniversal Summer press day held at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village on April 1, 2016 in Westlake Village, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Summer Press Day, April 1, 2016 -- Pictured: Julie Chrisley (L) and Todd Chrisley of "Chrisley Knows Best" pose for a portrait during the NBCUniversal Summer Press Day at Four Seasons Hotel on April 1, 2016 in Westlake Village, California. (Photo by: Mike Windle/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD - "Garrett Morris vs Alfonso Ribeiro and Todd Chrisley vs Sara Evans" - The celebrity teams competing to win cash for their charities feature the family of actor and comedian Garrett Morris, part of the original cast of "Saturday Night Live," taking on the family of actor, television director, dancer and host of "America's Funniest Home Videos," Alfonso Ribeiro. In a separate game, the family of Todd Chrisley, star and executive producer of "Chrisley Knows Best," will compete against the family of Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum country singer Sara Evans. The season finale of "Celebrity Family Feud" airs SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) STEVE HARVEY, TODD CHRISLEY, JULIE CHRISLEY
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- Season:4 -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley -- (Photo by: Tommy Garcia/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- Season:4 -- Pictured: (l-r) Faye Chrisley, Lindsie Chrisley Campbell, Grayson Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Chase Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley -- (Photo by: Tommy Garcia/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD - "Garrett Morris vs Alfonso Ribeiro and Todd Chrisley vs Sara Evans" - The celebrity teams competing to win cash for their charities feature the family of actor and comedian Garrett Morris, part of the original cast of "Saturday Night Live," taking on the family of actor, television director, dancer and host of "America's Funniest Home Videos," Alfonso Ribeiro. In a separate game, the family of Todd Chrisley, star and executive producer of "Chrisley Knows Best," will compete against the family of Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum country singer Sara Evans. The season finale of "Celebrity Family Feud" airs SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) CHASE CHRISLEY, FAYE NANNIE CHRISLEY, LINDSIE CHRISLEY CAMPBELL, JULIE CHRISLEY, TODD CHRISLEY
NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 16: L/R: Reality TV star Julie Chrisley, Wish Kid Lily, Miss Tennessee Teen USA/Reality TV star Savannah Chrisley, Wish Kid Camryn, Reality TV star Todd Chrisley, Wish Kid Josh and Beth Torres President/CEO Make-A-Wish attend the 2016 Make-A-Wish Stars For Wishes at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on January 16, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 16: Reality TV stars Julie Chrisley and Todd Chrisley attend the 2016 Make-A-Wish Stars For Wishes at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on January 16, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Moving On" Episode 406 -- Pictured: (l-r) Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley -- (Photo by: Annette Brown/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Todd Unleashed" Episode 404 -- Pictured: (l-r) Julie Chrisley, Faye Chrisley -- (Photo by: Guy D'Alema/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Crowning Achievements" Episode 401 -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley -- (Photo by: Mark Hill/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "The Graduates" Episode 318 -- Pictured: (l-r) Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley -- (Photo by: Bob Mahoney/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Sports Day" Episode 316 -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley -- (Photo by: Mark Hill/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 12: (L-R) Todd Chrisley, Lindsie Chrisley Campbell, Savannah Chrisley and Julie Chrisley attend The Concert For Love And Acceptance at City Winery Nashville on June 12, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Concert For Love And Acceptance)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Chrisley Knows Best ATAS FYC Screening at The London West Hollywood in Los Angeles on Monday, June 8, 2015" -- Pictured: (l-r) Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley -- (Photo by: Charley Gallay/USA Network)
NBCUNIVERSAL CABLE ENTERTAINMENT UPFRONT -- "2015 NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfront at the Javits Center in New York City on Thursday, May 14, 2015" -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Chase Chrisley -- (Photo by: Julie Holder/NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "College Bootcamp" Episode 308 -- Pictured: (l-r) Chase Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Grayson Chrisley, Savannah Chrisley, Faye Chrisley -- (Photo by: Mark Hill/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- Season:2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley -- (Photo by: Andrew Eccles/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, July 2014 -- "Chrisley Knows Best" -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Chase Chrisley -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, July 2014 -- "Chrisley Knows Best" -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 14: Julie Chrisley and Todd Chrisley arrive at the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour - NBCUniversal - Day 2 held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 14, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 14: TV personalities Julie Chrisley and Todd Chrisley arrive at the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour - NBCUniversal - Day 2 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 14, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Chrisleys on Campus" Episode 306 -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Chase Chrisley, Julie Chrisley Savannah Chrisley -- (Photo by: Jason Davis/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, July 2014 -- "Chrisley Knows Best" -- Pictured: (l-r) Chase Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Savannah Crisley -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Fathers Day" Episode 203 -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Chrisley, Lindsie Chrisley Cambpell, Grayson Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Faye Chrisley, Chase Chrisley -- (Photo by: Richard Ducree/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Chase Turns 18" Episode 205 -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley -- (Photo by: Moses Robinson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: (L-R) Savannah Chrisley, Chase Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, and Todd Chrisley attend the 2014 NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Upfronts at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST --"Not So Sweet Sixteen" Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley -- (Photo by: Wilford Harewood/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- "Tastemaker Event" -- Pictured: (l-r) Todd Chrisley, Julie Chrisley during the "Tastemaker Event" at The Bar at Dream Hotel in New York, NY on Wednesday, February 19, 2014-- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/USA/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST -- Season:1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Chrisley, Lindsie Chrisley Campbell, Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Kyle Chrisley, Chase Chrisley, Grayson Chrisley -- (Photo by: Tommy Garcia/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE STEVE HARVEY SHOW -- Episode 2158 -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Chrisley, Chase Chrisley, Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley, Steve Harvey -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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"I'm telling you all this now because we have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of. 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," he continued. "Anyway, when all is said and done we trust in God..."

So, how will this affect the future of their USA Network show? Despite a report claiming Chrisley Knows Best will be canceled, a source close to the situation tells Yahoo Entertainment the rumor is "completely false." New episodes will air this fall.

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