How Did Todd Chrisley Really Make All His Money?

After Todd and Julie Chrisley were sentenced to a total of 19 years in prison, it seems like maybe the Chrisleys don't know best.

Over the past year, the Chrisleys have been embroiled in tax evasion and wire fraud investigations. The investigation all started in 2017 when the FBI began looking into the reality TV stars and their businesses. Known for their boisterous and lavish lifestyles, the Chrisleys weren't afraid to show off their wealth — but that's what landed the couple right in the palms of the FBI.

During the couple's trial, the couple was noted for filing for $30 million in loans — that they lied to get. The prosecution said that the Chrisleys would create fake papers so they could apply for loans. Those papers included lies about the couple's wealth, so they could get the loans. One paper even claimed that Todd had more than $4 million in his bank account at the time, when he didn't, per Insider. By using the fake papers, the couple received more loans that they would use to buy designer items before applying for more. At the same time, the couple also reportedly worked to conceal money from the government, per People. But now that the couple has been found guilty of fabricating their wealth, it's left fans wondering how the Chrisleys made their fortune in the first place. 

Todd Chrisley ran a real estate business before going bankrupt

While Todd and Julie Chrisley have been found guilty of inflating their wealth, the two previously had a fortune to their name — before losing it all.

Todd originally worked in real estate and properties, where he would flip houses. By redoing the homes, the Chrisleys would increase the profit of the home, before selling it again — therefore, making more money on the house. According to prosecutors, Chrisley's business was successful and lucrative from 2007 until 2012, per Insider. But the family's shopping habits got them into trouble as the Chrisley family would buy almost any designer item in order to give off an era of affluence.  

But when the real estate they were working on no longer brought in enough money, the couple had to find a new way to make money. That's when they turned to forged documents. The couple did this for years — get a loan, spend it all on designer items, go to get another loan, and spend even more. To continue their "business," the Chrisleys also made sure they went to smaller banks because smaller banks would be more apt to believe their need for the loan. Though, eventually, the couple wasn't allowed to get more loans — taking away their business venture. That's when Todd filed for bankruptcy, per The Sun, and the family worked to start their reality TV show, "Chrisley Knows Best" as their new business venture.

The Chrisleys claim their business assistant embroiled them in this conflict

While the Chrisleys have been found guilty of tax evasion, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice, Todd and Julie Chrisley continue to deny any wrongdoing.

Instead, during the trial, the couple claimed that one of their former employees committed these crimes — not them. According to the family's attorney, a family employee, named Mark Braddock, filed for all the loans and impersonated the Chrisley's signatures. Not only that, Braddock did all of this without telling the Chrisley family. So, when the Chrisleys let Braddock go, they claim he tipped the FBI off to what he had been doing, per Insider. But prosecutors alleged that wasn't true. While Braddock had a part in the family's scheme, when Braddock was fired, the couple did not stop what he had started — so the blame cannot only be on Braddock. Instead, the prosecution said after Braddock, the Chrisleys continued to file fake paperwork and worked to get more loans.

The Chrisleys were found guilty, and sentenced, though they claim innocence and have announced they will be appealing the convictions. The Chrisley's attorneys say that the couple's trial "was marred by serious and repeated errors," per CNN, but that the family "[is] optimistic about the road ahead." Todd and Julie also spoke out in a podcast episode saying that just because they haven't "seen justice" yet, as they are people of faith, they know God will "show it in his time," per Page Six.