Reality Television Stars and Accountant Indicted on Tax Evasion Charges

On August 13, 2019, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia issued a release reporting the federal grand jury indictment of reality television stars, Todd and Julie Chrisley. These Chrisley Knows Best stars face multiple counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. Additionally, the Chrisleys' accountant, Peter Tarantino, has been charged with tax-related offenses.

Regarding the tax allegations, the indictment alleges that the Chrisleys failed to timely file income tax returns and timely pay the IRS for tax years 2013-2016. Additionally, it is alleged that the Chrisleys and Tarantino conspired to defraud the IRS. Specifically, all three individuals are charged with obstructing IRS collection efforts by hiding income and lying about their tax returns. Tarantino is further accused of lying to FBI and IRS-CI Special Agents.

The Chrisleys maintain their innocence and state that a former employee's criminal actions are responsible for the indictment.

The release reminded the public that the defendants are presumed innocent and the government now bears the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. However, the public should carefully consider the release's quote from Thomas J. Holloman, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office as saying:

The tax charges in this indictment serves notice that the Internal Revenue Service has zero tolerance for individuals who attempt to shirk their tax responsibilities. This action is also part of a much larger and coordinated effort by the IRS and Department of Justice to aggressively find and crack down on individuals who try to conspire with others to hide their income and then lie to federal agents when confronted [emphasis added]. Honest and law abiding taxpayers are fed up with the likes of those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets at their expense.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your tax returns please call Frost & Associates, LLC today 410-497-5947.

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