What do you call a reality TV star going to prison for fraud and tax evasion?

A good start.

Todd Chrisley is the eponymous star of the USA Network reality show Chrisley Knows Best, which follows him and his annoyingly privileged and self-absorbed family. This is how USA network STILL describes him on their network web page:

The patriarch of the Chrisley family, Todd is a self-made millionaire and successful entrepreneur. One of his many achievements includes creating and producing content for both the USA Network and Netflix.  However, he considers his greatest accomplishment to be his children.  Todd Chrisley isn’t your typical ‘cookie cutter’ father and his family wouldn’t have it any other way!  Brash, outspoken, opinionated, with a razor-sharp Southern wit, he keeps his family in line through his brutally honest form of parenting.  Though tough, Todd always places his family first.  The self-proclaimed “Patriarch of Perfection” attempts to keep everyone in line and help prevent their catastrophes even though they’re inevitable sometimes.  Because after all… “He’s been there, done that, and got the t-shirt!”

Here is how Todd Chrisley is being described in the pages of his local daily newspaper:

Reality stars and former Georgia residents Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty on all counts of bank fraud and tax evasion by a federal jury Tuesday in downtown Atlanta.

The jury began deliberating on Friday afternoon and returned the verdict on Tuesday afternoon. Sentencing is set for Thursday, October 6 at 9:30 a.m. The Chrisleys could face up to 30 years in prison.

The trial began three weeks ago.

“As today’s outcome shows, when you lie, cheat and steal, justice is blind as to your fame, your fortune, and your position,” said Keri Farley, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, in a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office. “In the end, when driven by greed, the verdict of guilty on all counts for these three defendants proves once again that financial crimes do not pay.”

The couple released a statement through their attorneys: “Disappointed in the verdict. An appeal is planned.”

Federal prosecutors, who indicted the “Chrisley Knows Best” couple in 2019, said the Chrisleys deliberately “swindled” at least $30 million from community banks from 2007 to 2012 by inflating their net worth to get loans, purposely targeting smaller banks that did less due diligence than larger ones. Then Todd Chrisley filed for bankruptcy in 2012, erasing $20 million in loan debt.

Prosecuting attorney Annalise Peters alleged they then actively hid millions they made from the reality show, which began in 2014, as well as $500,000 in taxes Todd owed in 2009. They alleged that the couple actively evaded taxes going back to 2009.


It couldn’t happen to a more unctuous couple unless one or two of the Kardashians was being carted off to prison for repeated affrontery to the public good.

That the Chrisleys can become rich and famous in America just for being a family of grifting Karens says so much about where we are as a society.

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