Julie Chrisley's Sentence for Bank Fraud and Tax Evasion Thrown Out as Judges Order Resentencing

Chrisley Knows Best alum Julie Chrisley's seven-year prison sentence for tax evasion and bank fraud has been vacated after federal judges ruled that her case had insufficient evidence

Published Time: 23.06.2024 - 04:31:05 Modified Time: 23.06.2024 - 04:31:05

Chrisley Knows Best alum Julie Chrisley's seven-year prison sentence for tax evasion and bank fraud has been vacated after federal judges ruled that her case had insufficient evidence.

On Friday, June 21, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of Julie her husband, Todd Chrisley — who received a sentence of 12 years in prison — and their accountant Peter Tarantino, but found that the original trial judge had miscalculated Julie's sentence in 2022.

According to the judges' ruling, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Julie was held responsible for the entire bank fraud scheme, which began in 2006, but the judges found insufficient evidence to prove that she was involved before 2007.

The panel ruled that neither prosecutors nor the trial judge cited "any specific evidence showing she was involved in 2006."

"The problem is that we have not located the evidence the district court relied on in adopting that finding," the judges wrote in Friday's ruling.

"Our review of the record hasn’t revealed evidence to show, even by a preponderance of the evidence, that Julie was involved in 2006. Indeed, the government’s brief concedes that the evidence shows Julie 'participated in the bank fraud conspiracy from 2007,' not 2006," the judges added.

Julie's case will now be sent back to a lower court for resentencing, so a judge can revisit the "narrow issue" of how much Julie's sentence should differ from its original.

"We're pleased that the Court agreed that Julie's sentence was improper, but we’re obviously disappointed that it rejected Todd’s appeal," the Chrisleys' attorney Alex Little told PEOPLE in a statement.

"With this step behind us, we can now challenge the couple's convictions based on the illegal search that started the case," Little added. "The family appreciates the continued support they've received throughout this process. And they're hopeful for more good news in the future."

The pair's daughter Savannah Chrisley shared an update on the ruling on Friday, June 21, in an Instagram post, in which she spoke directly to the camera about the appeal.

"Didn't necessarily go as we hoped," Savannah, 26, said in the video. "But we do have a little win."

"What the ruling means is that the appeals court could not find any evidence that attributed this $17 million loss amount to my mother. And for tha -

t, I am grateful and I hope and pray that the judge can send her home," she continued.

Savannah added that Julie could be released from prison as early as 2026 and that she had "some other ideas up my sleeve" to revisit her father's case.

This ruling comes nearly a year after Savannah revealed in July 2023 that her family hadhired a new legal teamto appeal Todd and Julie's case.

Todd and Julie's attorney Jay Surgent spoke with PEOPLE that same month to givean update on the couple's appeal process, saying that new filings were being submitted.

"The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals can reverse the District Court, or they could remand the case back for hearings that should have been held that were not held during the course of this trial," Surgent explained at the time.

"We argued very vigorously that their constitutional rights have been violated, and that they basically were not given a fair hearing. It's all in black and white, actually," he added.

The former USA Network stars were first indicted by a federal grand juryin August 2019 for12 counts of bank and wire fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy, all ofwhich they have denied.

Prosecutors accused the pair and their accountant of evading nearly $2 million in state taxes between 2008 and 2016, and of using their production company, 7 C Production, to hide more than $1 million dollar's worth of their reality TV income from the IRS. Prosecutors also alleged that Todd directed an employee to falsify income and asset documents.

The Chrisleys later turned themselves in and pleaded not guilty. In October 2019, the Georgia Department of Revenuecleared them of their state tax evasion charge. The department found that therealitystars had overpaid on their taxes for several years and had a net liability of under $77,000 in overdue taxes for one year of incorrect filing.

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In June 2022, the couple and their accountant werefound guilty on all countsin a federal court in Georgia, theAtlanta Journal-Constitution reported at the time. Julie was also convicted of wire fraud.

The Chrisleysbegan their prison sentences in January 2023, and Todd is set to be released in September 2032 from the Federal Prison Camp Pensacola. Their original sentences were alsoreducedin September 2023.

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