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Updated: Oct 29, 2023

There's not a lot of real in reality TV, but that doesn't mean reality stars don't have to follow real laws. In August 2019, Todd and Julie Chrisley, stars of the reality show "Chrisley Knows Best" were indicted on tax evasion and fraud charges. They face a 12-count indictment. If convicted, the Chrisleys could serve 30 years in prison. 

The Chrisleys have maintained their innocence. Shortly before the initial indictment was issued, Todd Chrisley denied the accusations in an Instagram post, claiming the charges ere based on falsified evidence created by a disgruntled former employee. 

In 2012, Chrisley filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At the time, he said he was nearly $50 million in debt and had $4.2 million in assets. However, he also owed $12 million on his home, $4.4 million to his wife, and almost $600,000 to the IRS. In a court filing, he said he had just $55 in his checking account. 

A statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office paints a very different picture of the situation. The Chrisleys have been charged, "not only the defrauding a number of banks by fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans, but also with allegedly cheating taxpayers by actively evading paying federal taxes on the money they earned."

Prosecutors allege that since 2010, the Chrisleys and their accountant conspired to defraud the IRS. The couple founded 7Cs Productions and directed third parties to send money to the company. Despite having access to the company bank accounts, Todd Chrisley was not listed as the owner in documents filed with Georgia and Tennessee. The indictment alleges that Todd Chrisley concealed his connection with 7Cs Productions in order to prevent the IRS from determining his income. To top it all off, the Chrisleys failed to file federal tax returns or pay income taxes for the 2013-2016 tax years. 

The case is still ongoing, but whatever happens, it's clear that when it comes to paying taxes, it's the IRS who knows best.

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