In a surprising turn of events, Todd and Julie Chrisley, embroiled in a multimillion-dollar bank fraud and tax evasion scandal, have emerged victorious in a legal battle. Despite their ongoing prison sentences, the couple’s attorney, Alex Little of Burr & Forman LLP, revealed on Tuesday that the state of Georgia is set to provide them with a $1 million settlement. This resolution stems from their 2019 federal lawsuit against Joshua Waites, the former Director of Special Investigations at the state’s Department of Revenue.
Todd and Julie Chrisley attorney described the settlement as “an encouraging sign,” shedding light on the uniqueness of the case. Little stated, “We have been saying for months that the criminal case against the Chrisleys was highly unusual and had real problems.” He emphasized the rarity of one governmental entity compensating defendants while another strives to keep them incarcerated. This development comes as the couple’s appeal of their criminal convictions is scheduled to be heard by a court in April.
Legal challenges persist despite the settlement
While Todd and Julie Chrisley celebrate this $1 million settlement, their legal journey is far from over. Despite being cleared of the state tax evasion case, the reality TV stars faced a federal grand jury indictment in August 2019. The indictment included charges of 12 counts of bank and wire fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy, all of which Todd and Julie vehemently deny.
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Commencing their respective prison sentences on January 17, 2023, Todd and Julie are serving time for their involvement in the alleged financial misdeeds. Todd is slated for release from the Federal Prison Camp Pensacola on January 22, 2033, while Julie’s release from the Federal Medical Center Lexington in Kentucky is expected on October 19, 2028. Notably, their original sentences, initially 12 years and seven years, were reduced in September 2023.
Lawsuit alleges targeted persecution
The legal saga unfolded when, after being cleared of state tax evasion charges in Georgia, Todd and Julie decided to take legal action against Waites in October 2019. Their lawsuit, obtained by PEOPLE, alleges that Waites “specifically targeted” the Chrisley family in their state tax evasion charge. The former lawyer for the reality stars, Michael J. Bowers, claimed that Waites’ charges against Todd and Julie were a “shocking example” of an abuse of power for personal gain.
The lawsuit suggests that Waites directed his attention towards the Chrisley family, particularly Todd and his estranged daughter Lindsie. Accusing Waites of focusing on Lindsie to extract information about the family, the lawsuit claims that when unsuccessful, Waites shared the Chrisleys’ confidential tax information with her. Despite the alleged failure of Waites’s efforts, the lawsuit contends that the Chrisleys endured significant personal and financial hardship.