DOJ accuses reality T.V. stars of tax fraud

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2019 | Criminal Tax Issues

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has continued its crackdown on tax crimes. The agency will review allegations of wrongdoing wherever they may lead—even to Hollywood.

In the most recent example, the DOJ recently charged Todd and Julie Chrisley with tax-related offenses. The couple, along with their family, is known for their reality television show Chrisley Knows Best. A representative from the United States Attorney’s Office stated the family faces two primary allegations:

  • Bank fraud. The government states the family provided false information to financial institutions to better ensure approval for millions of dollars in bank loans.
  • Tax fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has also stated the family failed to timely file or pay their federal tax returns for multiple tax years. The family is accused of hiding income and lying to Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents during the investigation.

How did the family handle the allegations?

In response to the allegations, Mr. Chrisley states he did not commit the crimes. Instead, he claims a former employee produced “phony documents” to falsely accuse the Chrisley family of the crimes.

What are the penalties for these crimes?

As noted in a recent piece in Forbes, the Chrisley’s are not the only celebrity family targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A previous case provides an example of the serious penalties that can come with allegations of tax crimes.

In 2013, the government accused Teresa and Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey, of tax fraud. Initially, the couple fought the allegations, stating they were unfairly targeted due to their reality television fame. Ultimately, they agreed to a plea deal with the government. The deal resulted in a 41-month prison sentence for Mr. Giudice and 15-month imprisonment for Mrs. Giudice.

Those who face criminal tax fraud allegations are wise to take the accusations seriously. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone can help as they are familiar with the government’s tactics and can better ensure your interests are protected.