The federal government has informed Todd and Julie Chrisley, the reality television stars, that they are required to return nearly $1 million that they had received as part of a settlement in Georgia.
According to a report by WSB-TV, Todd and Julie Chrisley, the defendants in a tax evasion case, alleged that they were specifically targeted due to their fame.
Joshua Waites, the former Director of Special Investigations for the Georgia Department of Revenue, is facing a federal lawsuit.
The lawsuit accused Todd, 54, and Julie, 51, of engaging in an egregious abuse of power and violating the rights of innocent citizens. It highlighted the troubling actions of an overzealous public servant who prioritized gaining publicity and financial gain for his office rather than upholding the law.
The lawsuit alleged that he initiated the lawsuits unfairly to gain attention by targeting reality television stars. Waites was terminated in March 2020 after it was revealed that he had misrepresented his educational qualifications, according to a report by WSB-TV.
Todd and Julie Chrisley have been awarded a generous settlement of $1 million in a lawsuit that accused investigators of misconduct during their investigation.
Waites redirected his efforts and attention towards the Chrisley family, with a particular focus on Todd and his estranged daughter Lindsie, according to the lawsuit.
According to reports, Waites was accused of violating federal law by sharing confidential tax and grand jury information.
Last month, Todd and Julie Chrisley received a nearly $1 million settlement from Georgia following the lawsuit, as reported by WSB-TV. However, the federal government quickly filed a motion to claim the money, stating their intention to use it towards the $17 million restitution resulting from Chrisley’s fraud conviction in June 2022.
The Chrisleys were acquitted of the state tax evasion charges, however, they were convicted of federal fraud charges and concealing their wealth from tax authorities.
Todd and Julie, who are currently serving a combined 15-year prison sentence, are in custody in Florida and Kentucky, respectively. Originally sentenced to 19 years, their sentences were reduced in September 2023.
The Chrisleys are currently appealing their conviction.
The couple, along with their children and Chrisley’s mother, found fame on the reality TV show “Chrisley Knows Best.”