(CMR) According to several news sources reality stars Todd Chrisley (50) and Julie Chrisley (46) have been denied a temporary passport in order to take a week-long Thanksgiving vacation in the Cayman Islands because of an ongoing federal tax evasion case.
The couple had asked has asked the judge to allow for the vacation resort getaway from November 23-29 promising to return their passports on December 2. They intended to fly commercial direct from Nashville, Tennessee to join their children and grandchildren on the family trip. However, despite no objection from the US Attorney's Office, the judge did not grant the request. They also have to report any out of state trips as the couple have been instructed to remain in Georgia and Tennessee.
The couple was indicated about three months on 12 charges by a federal grand jury on August 13 in Atlanta in connection with tax evasion, conspiracy and bank fraud. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were released on a $100,000 unsecured bond. The judge said that only extraordinary circumstances would merit the request amid the ongoing case, and not a family vacation. The couple's accountant, Peter Tarantino, was also indicted on tax-related offenses.
In September, they settled an income tax case in their former home state of Georgia, as state taxes officials initially said they owed a total of $2 million in unpaid taxes from 2008-2016. In that separate case, the Georgia Department of Revenue agreed that the couple had overpaid four of the years in question and in fact owed less than $77,000 in overdue taxes for just one year of incorrect filing. The Chrisleys and the Department of Revenue officials signed a settlement agreement that ultimately led to the end of a two-year investigation into the Chrisleys’ alleged state tax liabilities. The sole year they owed the state any money was 2009, according to the DOR; that liability has been paid.
One week after they were cleared of the state charges, they filed a lawsuit against Joshua Waites, the director of the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Office of Special Investigations, for “specifically targeting” the famous family.
They claim that Waites's initial charges were “a shocking example of how an out-of-control public servant can abuse his office and violate the rights of innocent citizens for reasons that have more to do with securing publicity and money for his office than with enforcing the law.”
In the current case according to TMZ:
The U.S. Attorney's Office claims Todd and Julie defrauded banks by fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans, and also claims the couple cheated taxpayers by actively evading federal taxes on the money they earned.
According to prosecutors, Todd and Julie ran the scheme from 2007 through 2012, allegedly fabricating documents and providing false information to banks when applying for and receiving millions of dollars in loans … which they allegedly used to fund their lavish lifestyle.
According to the indictment, Todd allegedly worked with a partner to make it look like one of his bank accounts had $4 million, when they actually didn't even have an account at that bank at the time. The feds claim Todd emailed his partner, “You are a f***ing genious [sic]!!!! Just make it show 4 mil+.”
As for Julie's role … the feds claim she fabricated multiple financial documents by physically cutting and gluing or taping them together. According to the indictment, Todd allegedly told someone he was working with to “find a crooked accountant.” They have maintained that an employer was responsible for the fraudulent acts and not them.
The couple became famous on their USA original series Chrisley Knows Best which is in its seventh season.