Attorneys for Todd and Julie Chrisley presented their closing arguments in their fraud trial on Friday.
The counsel for the Chrisleys said that Mark Braddock, who turned them over to the FBI, provided the necessary reasonable doubt.
The accountant representing the Chrisleys, who is also charged, has maintained that his messiness isn’t a crime.
Todd Chrisley’s ex-business partner’s claim that they had an affair that lasted six months to a year is “fiction,” according to Chrisley’s counsel in his closing statements on Friday.
The fact that the government used documents he provided in the celebrity couple’s bank and tax fraud trial is enough to find them not guilty, attorney Bruce Morris told the Atlanta federal jury.
Mark Braddock, the man who alerted the FBI to Todd and Julie Chrisley’s finances, is an admitted liar, and the fact that the government used documents he provided in the celebrity couple’s bank and tax fraud trial is enough to find them not guilty, attorney Bruce Morris told the Atlanta federal jury.
He stated Friday, “I propose to you that Mark Braddock is the exact picture of reasonable doubt.”
Todd and his wife, Julie Chrisley, stars in the USA Network reality show “Chrisley Knows Best,” have been charged with tax evasion and running a scheme to deceive banks by making it appear that they were wealthier than they were.
When the banks found out, the Chrisleys filed for bankruptcy and were able to walk away from a $20 million debt. Prosecutors claim the pair then tried to hide money from the IRS.
When the IRS found out, Julie Chrisley allegedly obstructed justice by sending a forged paper to the Grand Jury, according to prosecutors.
Peter Tarantino, the couple’s attorney, has been accused of assisting in the couple’s scheme to evade paying their debts.
The charges against all three defendants have been denied. They could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Morris drew attention to the fact that the government’s case was based mostly on emails provided by Braddock, who has admitted to lying in the past.
Todd and Julie Chrisley directed Braddock to change documents before loan applications were delivered to banks, according to the emails.
“AOL would have produced the emails produced by Mark Braddock if they genuinely existed,” he claimed.
Morris also pointed up the lack of AOL or electronic communication specialists to testify regarding their legitimacy.
Braddock, according to his lawyers, is a violent and perverted individual.
Morris said Friday and in opening statements that Braddock was “obsessed” with Todd Chrisley and wanted to be him.
A Telegram profile linked to Mark Braddock’s phone number was uncovered by an investigator in 2021. It had a portrait of Mark Braddock on it, as well as the name “Mark Chrisley.”
Mark Braddock acknowledged to tampering with several financial records, lying to the FBI, and impersonating Todd Chrisley and others over the phone and via email for personal advantage and the Chrisleys’ profit.
In the end, he testified, he ratted out the couple to protect himself and seek vengeance.
In 2012, before the Chrisleys became famous, Braddock was promised immunity from prosecution in exchange for his help in the case.
“Mark Braddock is an extremely dangerous individual. He’s a terrifying individual “Christopher Anulewicz, Julie Chrisley’s lawyer, stated. “He’s a twisted individual.”
Tarantino’s lawyer, Daniel Patrick Griffin, tried to persuade the jury that his client made numerous efforts to assist the IRS in collecting unpaid taxes from the Chrisleys and even assisted in the payment of some tax bills.
Tarantino, on the other hand, admitted that he was in over his head when it came to taking on the Chrisleys as clients.
“Being sloppy, falling behind on work, not understanding a calculation, and not being the best accountant around doesn’t make Peter Tarantino a criminal,” he explained.
The fraud continued after Braddock and the Chrisleys were “dead to each other,” Assistant US Attorney Thomas Krepp told the jury on Friday. Braddock is “a criminal,” according to Assistant US Attorney Thomas Krepp.
“You should be furious that Mark Braddock was granted immunity. That shouldn’t make you happy, should it? “he stated “Don’t put your faith in Mark Braddock.”
He did say, however, that the jury should believe the other papers and witness testimony that show Todd Chrisley was the mastermind behind Braddock’s deception.
Long after Braddock was fired in 2012 and out of the scene, the pair continued to seek loans using forged paperwork, he said.
Greed is the driving force behind this.
The Chrisleys didn’t have to cheat to live a privileged life, but they did, according to Krepp.
“Todd and Julie Chrisley made a lot of money in the real estate foreclosure business,” Krepp told the jurors, “but it wasn’t enough for them.”
“They had to have more because of their greed. And for what, Todd’s cross-country hair-cutting trips?”
Chrisleys allegedly altered financial records, bank loan applications, and tax information to obtain whatever they want at the time, according to the prosecution.
Krepp reviewed a few documents that revealed the couple was aware of their need to pay Todd Chrisley’s $500,000 2009 tax debt to the IRS.
He also brought up an interview Todd Chrisley did on the radio in 2017.
“Todd Chrisley dared to announce on the radio, ‘Clearly the federal government loves my tax returns since I pay $750,000 to $1 million a year…'”
That, according to Krepp, was a flat-out lie.
Tarantino may not be the public face of the fraud trial, but he was an eager participant in it, according to Krepp.
According to Krepp, he lied to the IRS by claiming he had no idea where Todd Chrisley’s money was coming from or where he obtained his income.
“In our country, it makes no difference if you’re a self-made millionaire, a highly trained accountant, or a reality television star,” he remarked. “The law is the law,” says the narrator.
If convicted, the Chrisleys may face up to 30 years in prison.
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As Judge Eleanor Ross instructed the jury on the charges, Todd Chrisley and the couple’s daughter Savannah cried. Savannah has been in the courtroom throughout the trial.