Why Todd Chrisley wants a new trial

Rosie Manins, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Entertainment News

ATLANTA — As he serves a 12-year prison sentence in Florida on federal bank fraud and tax evasion charges, former Atlanta multimillionaire and reality television star Todd Chrisley is pushing for a new trial, claiming the jury heard false testimony and saw evidence from an illegal warehouse raid.

The 56-year-old has asked the federal appeals court in Atlanta to acquit him on two tax-related charges and allow him to return to trial on six bank fraud charges. His lawyer is due to argue his case Friday before a panel of judges in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Chrisley’s appeal cites the testimony of an IRS officer who said during a 2022 trial that Chrisley and his wife still owed federal taxes from 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In his new trial request, Chrisley said the officer admitted after trial that the money had been paid.

“Her testimony left the misimpression that the Chrisleys still owed substantial sums to the IRS when in fact the IRS had been failing to apply payments that the Chrisleys previously made,” Chrisley told the appeals court. “All told, the IRS owed the Chrisleys substantial refunds, not the other way around.”

Chrisley said he raised the issue with the federal trial judge in Atlanta who presided over the case, but that she refused without proper explanation to grant a new trial, even after prosecutors admitted that they knew the officer’s testimony was false and did nothing to correct it.

Prosecutors told the appeals court that the trial judge found no evidence that they or the officer knew her testimony was incorrect. The officer testified to the best of her recollection, prosecutors said.


“There is no reasonable likelihood that any alleged false testimony could have affected the verdict,” prosecutors said. “The jury also had ample evidence to convict the Chrisleys of willfully evading payment of the $500,000 that Todd owed on his 2009 taxes.”

Chrisley is also challenging evidence that he claims was illegally obtained by the Georgia Department of Revenue and turned over to federal investigators. The state agency launched its own investigation of the Chrisleys’ taxes, which was settled in 2019.

Part of the state probe involved a warrantless search of a locked warehouse where the Chrisleys stored personal items, Chrisley said. He said officers from the state department seized “massive amounts of furniture, personal property, and about 20 boxes containing documents, including financial records that the agents believed to be fraudulent.”

Though the trial judge suppressed evidence from the warehouse search, she let federal prosecutors rely on the information they gleaned from it, Chrisley argued.


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