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“Reality” Bites: Two Reality Stars and Their Fraudulent Claim to Fame

“Reality” Bites: Two Reality Stars and Their Fraudulent Claim to Fame

Chrisley Knows Best is a show about Atlanta multimillionaire Todd Chrisley and his quintessentially Southern and absolutely relatable family. Their mildly charming somewhat successful reality show did what all good reality shows do – it showcased the lives of the rich and famous to show that they really are just like us. However, recent events beg the question: does everyone engage in large scale bank fraud schemes and tax evasion?

Understanding Reality TV
Reality television is a genre of TV that involves documentary like footage of a cast of characters as the cameras follow them through everyday life. Popularized in the early aughts, these shows would feature larger-than-life individuals plucked out of obscurity who were put into dramatic or dangerous conditions for audiences’ entertainment.

The genre evolved with the advent of Real Housewives and became focused more on groups of friends, families, and communities. Although these shows are casted, lightly scripted, and heavily produced, they have a grain of truth that the rest is built on.

Chrisley Knows Best is a mildly successful mostly forgotten reality show that attempted to follow the Housewives/MTV recipe for reality. It featured a multimillionaire (Todd Chrisley) and his kooky Southern family. Naturally, the show featured the Chrisley’s wealth heavily and left no questions about whether the family was rich even if after several seasons it didn’t quite make them famous.

However, like the saying “all that glitters is not gold,” the Chrisley’s wealth was not what it seemed and now their world has been picked apart for the ruse it was.

“An Empire Based on The Lie”

Todd and Julie Chrisley have been sentenced to rather lengthy prison terms for excessive bank fraud and tax evasion. U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross sentenced Todd to 12 years in prison and Julie seven for their fraudulent schemes. Both will be required to serve three years supervised release after their prison time and may be ordered to pay restitution.

The couple was convicted on charges of bank fraud, tax evasion, and conspiring to defraud the IRS while Julie Chrisley was charged with additional crimes including wire fraud and obstruction of justice. According to the case, the couple repeatedly submitted fake documents to banks to secure over $30 million in loans and when they were unable to pay them back, filed for bankruptcy. They also submitted false documents to a grand jury and hid millions in assets from the IRS.

The prosecutor on the case told the court, “The Chrisleys have built an empire based on the lie that their wealth came from dedication and hard work. The jury's unanimous verdict sets the record straight: Todd and Julie Chrisley are career swindlers […].”


The Chrisley case is not unique among the rich or even reality stars. Many feels pressure to appear wealthy and will do what they can to make the illusion real to boost their image for audiences but the cost of doing so is astronomically high.

While the wealthy may have the means to pull off fraudulent schemes, charges of fraud and theft can be devastating for those wrongly accused. If you are facing fraud charges, you must contact The Draskovich Law Group.


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