The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released an indictment for Todd and Julie Chrisley, from the show Chrisley Knows Best. The government has charged the couple with tax crimes including bank fraud and tax evasion. According to the government, the reality television stars would fraudulently obtain bank loans and failing to pay their tax obligations.
The DOJ states the couple conspired to defraud banks by giving false information on loan applications from 2007 through 2012. The government has also stated the couple failed to timely file or pay federal income taxes for the 2013 – 2016 tax years. The prosecution also claims the couple to steps to obstruct collection efforts.
A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) encourages the public to take notice of the case. In the indictment, she states the government’s prosecution of the couple should serve as a reminder that the FBI will devote “many resources” to investigating allegations of tax crimes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent in charge of the local field office also reminded the public that the IRS has “zero tolerance” for those who attempt to “shirk their tax responsibilities.” The agent continues to state the IRS will work “aggressively” to find and charge those who attempt to commit tax fraud.
Having late taxes on its own is generally not enough to result in criminal charges. However, intentionally attempting to thwart one’s tax obligations is a crime. The penalties vary depending on the details of the case, but can include penalty fines, interest payments, a lien on your property, loss of your passport and even potential imprisonment.
As with any allegation of criminal wrongdoing, the government must build a case to support the charges. Defenses are available. Contact an attorney to better ensure all options are explored and your rights are protected.