“He wanted to be like Todd,” Morris said. “He took control of Todd’s business. He forged Todd’s signature on many documents. He impersonated Todd and used his personal passwords.”
Stephen Friedberg, who represents Todd’s wife Julie, said she was also ignorant of whatever Braddock was doing with their money. “Julie never dealt with any bank or bank officer on any of the transactions,” he said.
She was also charged with “wire fraud” for sending alleged false bank statements and a credit report to rent a home in California for $13,000 a month in 2014. Friedberg said a former employee was responsible for those documents and Julie didn’t know about it. He also said a later “obstruction of justice” charge was just an “honest mistake” she actively tried to fix.
Both Friedberg and Morris said the Chrisleys made good-faith efforts to reduce their tax load and actually did pay some back over time. They also said the production company they created wasn’t a way to hide taxes but something the “Chrisley Knows Best” producers Maverick TV and All3Media America required them to do after they began taping the TV show.
Given the complexity of the case, the trial could last three to four weeks.
The state of Georgia also investigated possible tax evasion against the Chrisleys. In 2019, a state judge cleared the couple of the charges, and the Chrisleys settled the case for just under $150,000.
In a statement at the time, Todd said, “Julie and I knew all along that we had done nothing wrong and that when the facts all came out, we would be fine. We’re just glad that the Department of Revenue was willing to keep an open mind and look at all the evidence.”
“Chrisley Knows Best,” a comedic look at the lives of the Chrisley family that Julie Christy’s attorney Friedberg said is a blend of scripted and unscripted scenes, was an instant hit for USA Network when it debuted in 2014 and was recently renewed for a 10th season. An E! spinoff “Growing Up Chrisley,” featuring two Chrisley kids, Chase and Savannah, living in Los Angeles, was just renewed for a fourth season. Both Chase and Savannah were in the courtroom to support their parents on Tuesday.
E! also recently announced a new dating show “Love Limo,” hosted by Todd Chrisley.
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