Chrisleys receive $1 million settlement in Georgia lawsuit

Todd and Julie Chrisley received $1 million to settle their lawsuit against a Georgia tax assessor, the family's attorney announced this week.

The reality TV personalities, who are serving prison sentences for federal bank fraud and tax evasion convictions, filed their lawsuit against the state in 2019. The lawsuit alleged that Joshua Waites, director of the Georgia Department of Revenue's Office of Special Investigations, took advantage of his position to pursue “false tax evasion charges” against them for “advertising and money” rather than “enforcing the law.”

The agreement was reached with the state of Georgia, which will pay the settlement amount to the family, Chrisley attorney Alex Little said in a statement Tuesday.

“We have been saying for months that the criminal case against the Chrisleys was highly unusual and had real problems,” Little said. “This agreement is an encouraging sign. It is almost unprecedented that one part of the government pays money to defendants while another part fights to keep them in prison.”

The “Chrisley Knows Best” stars were convicted in June 2022 of bank fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the IRS. Julie Chrisley was also convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice. The couple began their respective prison sentences in January 2023. Todd was sentenced to 12 years at the Camp Pensacola federal prison in Florida, while Julie received a seven-year sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. They also each received 16 months probation.

However, the two continue to fight their conviction and will face a federal appeals court hearing in Atlanta in April. They filed their lawsuit against the taxman shortly after they were indicted by a federal grand jury.

The Chrisleys' lawsuit alleged that the Georgia tax assessor targeted the couple's estranged daughter, Lindsie Chrisley Campbell, and improperly disclosed confidential tax information to obtain compromising information about the family. As a result of the officer's efforts, which ultimately failed, the Chrisleys “had to endure significant personal and financial hardship,” the lawsuit says.

Although they were ultimately acquitted in the state's tax evasion case, the federal government conducted its own investigation.

According to prosecutors, the Chrisleys submitted false documents to banks when they applied for loans to finance their expensive lifestyle. They said Julie Chrisley also provided a false credit report and fake bank statements when she tried to rent a home in California, and the couple then refused to pay rent several months after they began using the home .

Along with their accountant Peter Tarantino, who was also sentenced to prison for his role in the situation, the couple plotted to defraud the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying taxes, prosecutors said. The Chrisleys did not file tax returns or pay taxes from 2013 to 2016, although their wealth grew while they starred on their reality TV show, which premiered in 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.